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Sample records for confounding effect modification

  1. Assessing confounding, effect modification, and thresholds in the association between ambient particles and daily deaths.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, J

    2000-01-01

    I examined the relationship between daily deaths and airborne particles in 10 U.S. cities with varying climatic conditions and seasons in which particle concentrations were high. Airborne particles were associated with significant increases in daily deaths [0.67% increase for a 10 microg/m(3) increase in particles; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.52-0.81%]. This association was the same in summer and winter. To examine potential confounding by other pollutants, I regressed city- and season-specific effect sizes against the relationship between airborne particles and other pollutants. Controlling for other pollutants did not substantially (or significantly) change the estimated effect of airborne particles. Socioeconomic differences between cities likewise did not modify the effect. The increase in daily deaths that occurred out of hospitals (0.89% per 10 microg/m(3); CI, 0.67-1.10%) was substantially greater than the increase in deaths in hospitals (0. 49%; CI, 0.31-0.68%). This is consistent with results previously reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and suggests that the particle-associated deaths are not just being brought forward by a few days. It is also consistent with recent animal and human studies of the mechanisms of particle toxicity. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:10856032

  2. Cord Blood Methylmercury and Fetal Growth Outcomes in Baltimore Newborns: Potential Confounding and Effect Modification by Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Selenium, and Sex

    PubMed Central

    Wells, Ellen M.; Herbstman, Julie B.; Lin, Yu Hong; Jarrett, Jeffery; Verdon, Carl P.; Ward, Cynthia; Caldwell, Kathleen L.; Hibbeln, Joseph R.; Witter, Frank R.; Halden, Rolf U.; Goldman, Lynn R.

    2015-01-01

    evidence for interaction between MeHg and n-3 HUFAs; infants with higher MeHg and n-3 HUFAs had lower birth length and head circumference. These results should be verified with additional studies. Citation Wells EM, Herbstman JB, Lin YH, Jarrett J, Verdon CP, Ward C, Caldwell KL, Hibbeln JR, Witter FR, Halden RU, Goldman LR. 2016. Cord blood methylmercury and fetal growth outcomes in Baltimore newborns: potential confounding and effect modification by omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and sex. Environ Health Perspect 124:373–379; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408596 PMID:26115160

  3. Confounding in the Estimation of Mediation Effects.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Bienias, Julia L; Bennett, David A

    2007-03-01

    A mediation effect explains the relationship of a risk factor and an outcome through a mediator variable which is a step in their pathway. Under the assumption of no cycling in the causal relationship, we consider various situations in which a fourth variable may interfere the estimation of a mediation effect as a confounding factor. Our asymptotic results, which are supported by a Monte Carlo study, show that adjusting for confounding factors under certain conditions might lead to biased estimates. A general guideline is provided for when it is appropriate to adjust for confounding factors in estimating a mediation effect. We apply the guideline to the estimation of the mediation effect of Alzheimer's disease pathology in the relationship between the Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and cognitive function among 125 deceased participants from the Religious Orders Study, a longitudinal, clinical-pathologic study of aging and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:17940582

  4. Confounding in the Estimation of Mediation Effects

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Bienias, Julia L.; Bennett, David A.

    2007-01-01

    Summary A mediation effect explains the relationship of a risk factor and an outcome through a mediator variable which is a step in their pathway. Under the assumption of no cycling in the causal relationship, we consider various situations in which a fourth variable may interfere the estimation of a mediation effect as a confounding factor. Our asymptotic results, which are supported by a Monte Carlo study, show that adjusting for confounding factors under certain conditions might lead to biased estimates. A general guideline is provided for when it is appropriate to adjust for confounding factors in estimating a mediation effect. We apply the guideline to the estimation of the mediation effect of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the relationship between the Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and cognitive function among 125 deceased participants from the Religious Orders Study, a longitudinal, clinical-pathologic study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:17940582

  5. Confounding Effect in Clinical Research of Otolaryngology and Its Control.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong-qiang; Huang, Dong-yan; Armijo Olivo, Susan; Yang, Huai-an; Bambanini, Yagesh; Sonnenberg, Lyn; Clark, Brenda; Constantinescu, Gabriela; Qian Yu, Jason; Zhang, Ming

    2015-06-01

    Confounding effect is a critical issue in clinical research of otolaryngology because it can distort the research's conclusion. In this review, we introduce the definition of confounding effect, the methods of verifying and controlling the effect. Confounding effect can be prevented by research's design, and adjusted by data analysis. Clinicians would be aware and cautious about confounding effect in their research. They would be able to set up a research's design in which appropriate methods have been applied to prevent this effect.They would know how to adjust confounding effect after data collection. It is important to remember that sometimes it is impossible to eliminate confounding effect completely, and statistical method is not a master key. Solid research knowledge and critical thinking of our brain are the most important in controlling confounding effect. PMID:26149004

  6. Determinants of congruency sequence effects without learning and memory confounds.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Daniel H; Jiang, Jiefeng; Egner, Tobias

    2014-10-01

    A common finding in distracter interference (e.g., Flanker) tasks is that the difference in mean reaction time (RT) between incongruent and congruent trials-the congruency effect-is smaller when the previous trial was incongruent relative to congruent. Over the past 2 decades, 2 main accounts of this congruency sequence effect (CSE) have been proposed. One posits that the CSE indexes trial-by-trial adjustments of cognitive control, which are triggered by expectation, response conflict, negative affect, or response suppression. The other holds that the CSE indexes feature integration and/or contingency learning processes that are confounded with congruency sequence in most studies. In 3 online experiments involving over 450 participants, we observed CSEs without such confounds when 2 preconditions were met: (a) stimulus-response translation could be completed more rapidly for the distracter than for the target and (b) the distracter and target appeared at the same location. We also found that CSE magnitude did not vary consistently with the size of the congruency effect. These findings reveal that CSEs can be observed in the absence of feature integration and contingency learning confounds, but impose important new constraints on certain cognitive control accounts of this phenomenon. PMID:25089574

  7. Confounding effects of indirect connections on causality estimation.

    PubMed

    Vakorin, Vasily A; Krakovska, Olga A; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2009-10-30

    Addressing the issue of effective connectivity, this study focuses on effects of indirect connections on inferring stable causal relations: partial transfer entropy. We introduce a Granger causality measure based on a multivariate version of transfer entropy. The statistic takes into account the influence of the rest of the network (environment) on observed coupling between two given nodes. This formalism allows us to quantify, for a specific pathway, the total amount of indirect coupling mediated by the environment. We show that partial transfer entropy is a more sensitive technique to identify robust causal relations than its bivariate equivalent. In addition, we demonstrate the confounding effects of the variation in indirect coupling on the detectability of robust causal links. Finally, we consider the problem of model misspecification and its effect on the robustness of the observed connectivity patterns, showing that misspecifying the model may be an issue even for model-free information-theoretic approach. PMID:19628006

  8. The Problem of Confounding in Studies of the Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Pregnancy Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Källén, Bengt

    2012-01-01

    In most epidemilogical studies, the problem of confounding adds to the uncertainty in conclusions drawn. This is also true for studies on the effect of maternal drug use on birth defect risks. This paper describes various types of such confounders and discusses methods to identify and adjust for them. Such confounders can be found in maternal characteristics like age, parity, smoking, use of alcohol, and body mass index, subfertility, and previous pregnancies including previous birth of a malformed child, socioeconomy, race/ethnicity, or country of birth. Confounding by concomitant maternal drug use may occur. A geographical or seasonal confounding can exist. In rare instances, infant sex and multiple birth can appear as confounders. The most difficult problem to solve is often confounding by indication. The problem of confounding is less important for congenital malformations than for many other pregnancy outcomes. PMID:22190949

  9. Does exposure prediction bias health effect estimation? The relationship between confounding adjustment and exposure prediction

    PubMed Central

    Dominici, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    In environmental epidemiology, we are often faced with two challenges. First, an exposure prediction model is needed to estimate the exposure to an agent of interest, ideally at the individual level. Second, when estimating the health-effect associated with the exposure, confounding adjustment is needed in the health-effects regression model. The current literature addresses these two challenges separately. That is, methods that account for measurement error in the predicted exposure often fail to acknowledge the possibility of confounding, while methods designed to control confounding often fail to acknowledge that the exposure has been predicted. In this paper, we consider exposure prediction and confounding adjustment in a health-effects regression model simultaneously. By using theoretical arguments and simulation studies, we show that the bias of a health-effect estimate is influenced by the exposure prediction model, the type of confounding adjustment used in the health-effects regression model, and the relationship between these two. Moreover, we argue that even with a health-effects regression model that properly adjusts for confounding, the use of a predicted exposure can bias the health-effect estimate unless all confounders included in the health-effects regression model are also included in the exposure prediction model. While these results of this paper were motivated by studies of environmental contaminants, they apply more broadly to any context where an exposure needs to be predicted. PMID:24815302

  10. Unobserved time effects confound the identification of climate change impacts.

    PubMed

    Auffhammer, Maximilian; Vincent, Jeffrey R

    2012-07-24

    A recent study by Feng et al. [Feng S, Krueger A, Oppenheimer M (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:14257-14262] in PNAS reported statistical evidence of a weather-driven causal effect of crop yields on human migration from Mexico to the United States. We show that this conclusion is based on a different statistical model than the one stated in the paper. When we correct for this mistake, there is no evidence of a causal link. PMID:22783021

  11. Confounding Effects of Phase Delays on Causality Estimation

    PubMed Central

    Vakorin, Vasily A.; Mišić, Bratislav; Krakovska, Olga; Bezgin, Gleb; McIntosh, Anthony R.

    2013-01-01

    Linear and non-linear techniques for inferring causal relations between the brain signals representing the underlying neuronal systems have become a powerful tool to extract the connectivity patterns in the brain. Typically these tools employ the idea of Granger causality, which is ultimately based on the temporal precedence between the signals. At the same time, phase synchronization between coupled neural ensembles is considered a mechanism implemented in the brain to integrate relevant neuronal ensembles to perform a cognitive or perceptual task. Phase synchronization can be studied by analyzing the effects of phase-locking between the brain signals. However, we should expect that there is no one-to-one mapping between the observed phase lag and the time precedence as specified by physically interacting systems. Specifically, phase lag observed between two signals may interfere with inferring causal relations. This could be of critical importance for the coupled non-linear oscillating systems, with possible time delays in coupling, when classical linear cross-spectrum strategies for solving phase ambiguity are not efficient. To demonstrate this, we used a prototypical model of coupled non-linear systems, and compared three typical pipelines of inferring Granger causality, as established in the literature. Specifically, we compared the performance of the spectral and information-theoretic Granger pipelines as well as standard Granger causality in their relations to the observed phase differences for frequencies at which the signals become synchronized to each other. We found that an information-theoretic approach, which takes into account different time lags between the past of one signal and the future of another signal, was the most robust to phase effects. PMID:23349720

  12. Event-related potential indices of congruency sequence effects without feature integration or contingency learning confounds.

    PubMed

    Larson, Michael J; Clayson, Peter E; Kirwan, C Brock; Weissman, Daniel H

    2016-06-01

    The congruency effect in Stroop-like tasks (i.e., increased response time and reduced accuracy in incongruent relative to congruent trials) is often smaller when the previous trial was incongruent as compared to congruent. This congruency sequence effect (CSE) is thought to reflect cognitive control processes that shift attention to the target and/or modulate the response engendered by the distracter differently after incongruent relative to congruent trials. The neural signatures of CSEs are therefore usually attributed to cognitive control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli. However, CSEs in previous functional neuroimaging studies were ubiquitously confounded with feature integration and/or contingency learning processes. We therefore investigated whether a neural CSE can be observed without such confounds in a group of healthy young adults (n = 56). To this end, we combined a prime-probe task that lacks such confounds with high-density ERPs to identify, for the first time, the neural time course of confound-minimized CSEs. Replicating recent behavioral findings, we observed strong CSEs in this task for mean response time and mean accuracy. Critically, conceptually replicating prior ERP results from confounded tasks, we also observed a CSE in both the parietal conflict slow potential (conflict SP) and the frontomedial N450. These findings indicate for the first time that neural CSEs as indexed by ERPs can be observed without the typical confounds. More broadly, the present study provides a confound-minimized protocol that will help future researchers to better isolate the neural bases of control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli. PMID:26854028

  13. EVALUATING COSTS WITH UNMEASURED CONFOUNDING: A SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR THE TREATMENT EFFECT

    PubMed Central

    Handorf, Elizabeth A.; Bekelman, Justin E.; Heitjan, Daniel F.; Mitra, Nandita

    2014-01-01

    Estimates of the effects of treatment on cost from observational studies are subject to bias if there are unmeasured confounders. It is therefore advisable in practice to assess the potential magnitude of such biases. We derive a general adjustment formula for loglinear models of mean cost and explore special cases under plausible assumptions about the distribution of the unmeasured confounder. We assess the performance of the adjustment by simulation, in particular, examining robustness to a key assumption of conditional independence between the unmeasured and measured covariates given the treatment indicator. We apply our method to SEER-Medicare cost data for a stage II/III muscle-invasive bladder cancer cohort. We evaluate the costs for radical cystectomy vs. combined radiation/chemotherapy, and find that the significance of the treatment effect is sensitive to plausible unmeasured Bernoulli, Poisson and Gamma confounders. PMID:24587844

  14. Consistent causal effect estimation under dual misspecification and implications for confounder selection procedures

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Susan; van der Laan, Mark J

    2014-01-01

    In a previously published article in this journal, Vansteeland et al. [Stat Methods Med Res. Epub ahead of print 12 November 2010. DOI: 10.1177/0962280210387717] address confounder selection in the context of causal effect estimation in observational studies. They discuss several selection strategies and propose a procedure whose performance is guided by the quality of the exposure effect estimator. The authors note that when a particular linearity condition is met, consistent estimation of the target parameter can be achieved even under dual misspecification of models for the association of confounders with exposure and outcome and demonstrate the performance of their procedure relative to other estimators when this condition holds. Our earlier published work on collaborative targeted minimum loss based learning provides a general theoretical framework for effective confounder selection that explains the findings of Vansteelandt et al. and underscores the appropriateness of their suggestions that a confounder selection procedure should be concerned with directly targeting the quality of the estimate and that desirable estimators produce valid confidence intervals and are robust to dual misspecification. PMID:22368176

  15. Health Effects of Lesion Localization in Multiple Sclerosis: Spatial Registration and Confounding Adjustment

    PubMed Central

    Eloyan, Ani; Shou, Haochang; Shinohara, Russell T.; Sweeney, Elizabeth M.; Nebel, Mary Beth; Cuzzocreo, Jennifer L.; Calabresi, Peter A.; Reich, Daniel S.; Lindquist, Martin A.; Crainiceanu, Ciprian M.

    2014-01-01

    Brain lesion localization in multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to be associated with the type and severity of adverse health effects. However, several factors hinder statistical analyses of such associations using large MRI datasets: 1) spatial registration algorithms developed for healthy individuals may be less effective on diseased brains and lead to different spatial distributions of lesions; 2) interpretation of results requires the careful selection of confounders; and 3) most approaches have focused on voxel-wise regression approaches. In this paper, we evaluated the performance of five registration algorithms and observed that conclusions regarding lesion localization can vary substantially with the choice of registration algorithm. Methods for dealing with confounding factors due to differences in disease duration and local lesion volume are introduced. Voxel-wise regression is then extended by the introduction of a metric that measures the distance between a patient-specific lesion mask and the population prevalence map. PMID:25233361

  16. The confounding effect of cryptic relatedness for environmental risks of systolic blood pressure on cohort studies

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Kyoko; Hozawa, Atsushi; Tamiya, Gen; Ueki, Masao; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Narimatsu, Hiroto; Kubota, Isao; Ueno, Yoshiyuki; Kato, Takeo; Yamashita, Hidetoshi; Fukao, Akira; Kayama, Takamasa

    2013-01-01

    The impact of cryptic relatedness (CR) on genomic association studies is well studied and known to inflate false-positive rates as reported by several groups. In contrast, conventional epidemiological studies for environmental risks, the confounding effect of CR is still uninvestigated. In this study, we investigated the confounding effect of unadjusted CR among a rural cohort in the relationship between environmental risk factors (body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption) and systolic blood pressure. We applied the methods of population-based whole-genome association studies for the analysis of the genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data in 1622 subjects, and detected 20.2% CR in this cohort population. In the case of the sample size, approximately 1000, the ratio of CR to the population was 20.2%, the population prevalence 25%, the prevalence in the CR 26%, heritability for liability 14.3% and prevalence in the subpopulation without CR 26%, the difference of estimated regression coefficient between samples with and without CR was not significant (P-value = 0.55). On the other hand, in another case with approximately >20% heritability for liability, we showed that confounding due to CR biased the estimation of exposure effects. PMID:24498600

  17. The confounding effect of cryptic relatedness for environmental risks of systolic blood pressure on cohort studies.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Kyoko; Hozawa, Atsushi; Tamiya, Gen; Ueki, Masao; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Narimatsu, Hiroto; Kubota, Isao; Ueno, Yoshiyuki; Kato, Takeo; Yamashita, Hidetoshi; Fukao, Akira; Kayama, Takamasa

    2013-05-01

    The impact of cryptic relatedness (CR) on genomic association studies is well studied and known to inflate false-positive rates as reported by several groups. In contrast, conventional epidemiological studies for environmental risks, the confounding effect of CR is still uninvestigated. In this study, we investigated the confounding effect of unadjusted CR among a rural cohort in the relationship between environmental risk factors (body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption) and systolic blood pressure. We applied the methods of population-based whole-genome association studies for the analysis of the genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data in 1622 subjects, and detected 20.2% CR in this cohort population. In the case of the sample size, approximately 1000, the ratio of CR to the population was 20.2%, the population prevalence 25%, the prevalence in the CR 26%, heritability for liability 14.3% and prevalence in the subpopulation without CR 26%, the difference of estimated regression coefficient between samples with and without CR was not significant (P-value = 0.55). On the other hand, in another case with approximately >20% heritability for liability, we showed that confounding due to CR biased the estimation of exposure effects. PMID:24498600

  18. Sensitivity analysis for direct and indirect effects in the presence of exposure-induced mediator-outcome confounders

    PubMed Central

    Chiba, Yasutaka

    2014-01-01

    Questions of mediation are often of interest in reasoning about mechanisms, and methods have been developed to address these questions. However, these methods make strong assumptions about the absence of confounding. Even if exposure is randomized, there may be mediator-outcome confounding variables. Inference about direct and indirect effects is particularly challenging if these mediator-outcome confounders are affected by the exposure because in this case these effects are not identified irrespective of whether data is available on these exposure-induced mediator-outcome confounders. In this paper, we provide a sensitivity analysis technique for natural direct and indirect effects that is applicable even if there are mediator-outcome confounders affected by the exposure. We give techniques for both the difference and risk ratio scales and compare the technique to other possible approaches. PMID:25580387

  19. Accounting for Uncertainty in Confounder and Effect Modifier Selection when Estimating Average Causal Effects in Generalized Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chi; Dominici, Francesca; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Zigler, Corwin Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Summary Confounder selection and adjustment are essential elements of assessing the causal effect of an exposure or treatment in observational studies. Building upon work by Wang et al. (2012) and Lefebvre et al. (2014), we propose and evaluate a Bayesian method to estimate average causal effects in studies with a large number of potential confounders, relatively few observations, likely interactions between confounders and the exposure of interest, and uncertainty on which confounders and interaction terms should be included. Our method is applicable across all exposures and outcomes that can be handled through generalized linear models. In this general setting, estimation of the average causal effect is different from estimation of the exposure coefficient in the outcome model due to non-collapsibility. We implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure to integrate over the distribution of potential confounders and to estimate the causal effect. Our method permits estimation of both the overall population causal effect and effects in specified subpopulations, providing clear characterization of heterogeneous exposure effects that may vary considerably across different covariate profiles. Simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed method performs well in small sample size situations with 100 to 150 observations and 50 covariates. The method is applied to data on 15060 US Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor between 2000 and 2009 to evaluate whether surgery reduces hospital readmissions within thirty days of diagnosis. PMID:25899155

  20. The Effect of Clozapine on Premature Mortality: An Assessment of Clinical Monitoring and Other Potential Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Richard D.; Downs, Johnny; Chang, Chin-Kuo; Jackson, Richard G.; Shetty, Hitesh; Broadbent, Matthew; Hotopf, Matthew; Stewart, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Clozapine can cause severe adverse effects yet it is associated with reduced mortality risk. We test the hypothesis this association is due to increased clinical monitoring and investigate risk of premature mortality from natural causes. We identified 14 754 individuals (879 deaths) with serious mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders aged ≥ 15 years in a large specialist mental healthcare case register linked to national mortality tracing. In this cohort study we modeled the effect of clozapine on mortality over a 5-year period (2007–2011) using Cox regression. Individuals prescribed clozapine had more severe psychopathology and poorer functional status. Many of the exposures associated with clozapine use were themselves risk factors for increased mortality. However, we identified a strong association between being prescribed clozapine and lower mortality which persisted after controlling for a broad range of potential confounders including clinical monitoring and markers of disease severity (adjusted hazard ratio 0.4; 95% CI 0.2–0.7; p = .001). This association remained after restricting the sample to those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or those taking antipsychotics and after using propensity scores to reduce the impact of confounding by indication. Among individuals with SMI, those prescribed clozapine had a reduced risk of mortality due to both natural and unnatural causes. We found no evidence to indicate that lower mortality associated with clozapine in SMI was due to increased clinical monitoring or confounding factors. This is the first study to report an association between clozapine and reduced risk of mortality from natural causes. PMID:25154620

  1. Task-independent effects are potential confounders in longitudinal imaging studies of learning in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Korostil, Michele; Fatima, Zainab; Kovacevic, Natasha; Menon, Mahesh; McIntosh, Anthony Randal

    2015-01-01

    Learning impairment is a core deficit in schizophrenia that impacts on real-world functioning and yet, elucidating its underlying neural basis remains a challenge. A key issue when interpreting learning-task experiments is that task-independent changes may confound interpretation of task-related signal changes in neuroimaging studies. The nature of these task-independent changes in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we examined task-independent “time effects” in a group of participants with schizophrenia contrasted with healthy participants in a longitudinal fMRI learning-experiment designed to allow for examination of non-specific effects of time. Flanking the learning portions of the experiment with a task-of-no-interest allowed us to extract task-independent BOLD changes. Task-independent effects occurred in both groups, but were more robust in the schizophrenia group. There was a significant interaction effect between group and time in a distributed activity pattern that included inferior and superior temporal regions, frontal areas (left anterior insula and superior medial gyri), and parietal areas (posterior cingulate cortices and precuneus). This pattern showed task-independent linear decrease in BOLD amplitude over the two scanning sessions for the schizophrenia group, but showed either opposite effect or no activity changes for the control group. There was a trend towards a correlation between task-independent effects and the presence of more negative symptoms in the schizophrenia group. The strong interaction between group and time suggests that both the scanning experience as a whole and the transition between task-types evokes a different response in persons with schizophrenia and may confound interpretation of learning-related longitudinal imaging experiments if not explicitly considered. PMID:26759790

  2. Confounding factors in HGT detection: statistical error, coalescent effects, and multiple solutions.

    PubMed

    Than, Cuong; Ruths, Derek; Innan, Hideki; Nakhleh, Luay

    2007-05-01

    Prokaryotic organisms share genetic material across species boundaries by means of a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). This process has great significance for understanding prokaryotic genome diversification and unraveling their complexities. Phylogeny-based detection of HGT is one of the most commonly used methods for this task, and is based on the fundamental fact that HGT may cause gene trees to disagree with one another, as well as with the species phylogeny. Using these methods, we can compare gene and species trees, and infer a set of HGT events to reconcile the differences among these trees. In this paper, we address three factors that confound the detection of the true HGT events, including the donors and recipients of horizontally transferred genes. First, we study experimentally the effects of error in the estimated gene trees (statistical error) on the accuracy of inferred HGT events. Our results indicate that statistical error leads to overestimation of the number of HGT events, and that HGT detection methods should be designed with unresolved gene trees in mind. Second, we demonstrate, both theoretically and empirically, that based on topological comparison alone, the number of HGT scenarios that reconcile a pair of species/gene trees may be exponential. This number may be reduced when branch lengths in both trees are estimated correctly. This set of results implies that in the absence of additional biological information, and/or a biological model of how HGT occurs, multiple HGT scenarios must be sought, and efficient strategies for how to enumerate such solutions must be developed. Third, we address the issue of lineage sorting, how it confounds HGT detection, and how to incorporate it with HGT into a single stochastic framework that distinguishes between the two events by extending population genetics theories. This result is very important, particularly when analyzing closely related organisms, where coalescent effects may not be

  3. Reproductive and socioeconomic determinants of child survival: confounded, interactive, and age-dependent effects.

    PubMed

    Kost, K; Amin, S

    1992-01-01

    Studies of infant and child mortality have evolved to distinguish between two sets of explanatory variables-factors related to reproductive or maternal characteristics and socioeconomic factors, generally described as characteristics of the family or household. Almost all multivariate analyses include variables from each of these two sets, but there has been little consideration of the relationship between them. We examine how these two sets of variables jointly affect mortality. We test first for confounded effects by examining socioeconomic effects while excluding and then including reproductive variables in nested multivariate models. Next, we look for age-dependent effects among the explanatory variables and find that reproductive and socioeconomic factors affect mortality at differing ages of children. Finally, we examine interactive effects of the two sets of variables. We conclude that the higher mortality observed among the low status groups is not a result of greater concentration of poor reproductive patterns in those groups. Instead, higher status groups probably have more resources available for combating the negative effects of the same high-risk reproductive patterns. PMID:1514117

  4. A causal examination of the effects of confounding factors on multimetric indices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoolmaster, Donald R., Jr.; Grace, James B.; Schweiger, E. William; Mitchell, Brian R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2013-01-01

    The development of multimetric indices (MMIs) as a means of providing integrative measures of ecosystem condition is becoming widespread. An increasingly recognized problem for the interpretability of MMIs is controlling for the potentially confounding influences of environmental covariates. Most common approaches to handling covariates are based on simple notions of statistical control, leaving the causal implications of covariates and their adjustment unstated. In this paper, we use graphical models to examine some of the potential impacts of environmental covariates on the observed signals between human disturbance and potential response metrics. Using simulations based on various causal networks, we show how environmental covariates can both obscure and exaggerate the effects of human disturbance on individual metrics. We then examine from a causal interpretation standpoint the common practice of adjusting ecological metrics for environmental influences using only the set of sites deemed to be in reference condition. We present and examine the performance of an alternative approach to metric adjustment that uses the whole set of sites and models both environmental and human disturbance effects simultaneously. The findings from our analyses indicate that failing to model and adjust metrics can result in a systematic bias towards those metrics in which environmental covariates function to artificially strengthen the metric–disturbance relationship resulting in MMIs that do not accurately measure impacts of human disturbance. We also find that a “whole-set modeling approach” requires fewer assumptions and is more efficient with the given information than the more commonly applied “reference-set” approach.

  5. Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Young Children with Autism: Biological Effects and Potential Confounds

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Lindsay; Gozzi, Marta; Lenroot, Rhoshel; Thurm, Audrey; Behseta, Babak; Swedo, Susan; Pierpaoli, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Background Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been used over the past decade to study structural differences in the brains of children with autism compared to typically developing children. These studies generally find reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) and increased mean diffusivity (MD) in children with autism, however the regional pattern of findings varies greatly. Methods We used DTI to investigate the brains of sedated children with autism (N=39) and naturally asleep typically developing children (N=39) between 2 and 8 years of age. Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) and whole brain voxel-wise analysis were performed to investigate the regional distribution of differences between groups. Results In children with autism, we found significantly reduced FA in widespread regions, and increased MD only in posterior brain regions. Significant age by group interaction was found, indicating a difference in developmental trends of FA and MD between children with autism and typically developing children. The magnitude of the measured differences between groups was small, on the order of ~1–2%. Subjects and controls showed distinct regional differences in imaging artifacts that can affect DTI measures. Conclusions We found statistically significant differences in DTI metrics between children with autism and typically developing children, including different developmental trends of these metrics. However, this study indicates that between-group differences in DTI studies of autism should be interpreted with caution, as their small magnitude make these measurements particularly vulnerable to the effects of artifacts and confounds, which may lead to false positive and/or false negative biological inferences. PMID:22906515

  6. Understanding Confounding Effects in Linguistic Coordination: An Information-Theoretic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Shuyang; Ver Steeg, Greg; Galstyan, Aram

    2015-01-01

    We suggest an information-theoretic approach for measuring stylistic coordination in dialogues. The proposed measure has a simple predictive interpretation and can account for various confounding factors through proper conditioning. We revisit some of the previous studies that reported strong signatures of stylistic accommodation, and find that a significant part of the observed coordination can be attributed to a simple confounding effect—length coordination. Specifically, longer utterances tend to be followed by longer responses, which gives rise to spurious correlations in the other stylistic features. We propose a test to distinguish correlations in length due to contextual factors (topic of conversation, user verbosity, etc.) and turn-by-turn coordination. We also suggest a test to identify whether stylistic coordination persists even after accounting for length coordination and contextual factors. PMID:26115446

  7. Wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms: The confounding effect of concurrent environmental exposures.

    PubMed

    Blanes-Vidal, Victoria; Schwartz, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not wind turbines pose a risk to human health is a matter of heated debate. Personal reactions to other environmental exposures occurring in the same settings as wind turbines may be responsible of the reported symptoms. However, these have not been accounted for in previous studies. We investigated whether there is an association between residential proximity to wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms, after controlling for personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. We assessed wind turbine exposures in 454 residences as the distance to the closest wind turbine (Dw) and number of wind turbines <1000m (Nw1000). Information on symptoms, demographics and personal reactions to exposures was obtained by a blind questionnaire. We identified confounders using confounders' selection criteria and used adjusted logistic regression models to estimate associations. When controlling only for socio-demographic characteristics, log10Dw was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=0.38, 95%CI=0.15-1.00) and "difficulty concentrating" (ORadj=0.26, 95%CI=0.08-0.83) and Nw1000 was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=1.35, 95%CI=1.07-1.70) and "headache" (ORadj=1.26, 95%CI=1.00-1.58). After controlling for personal reactions to noise from sources different from wind turbines and agricultural odor exposure, we did not observe a significant relationship between residential proximity to wind turbines and symptoms and the parameter estimates were attenuated toward zero. Wind turbines-health associations can be confounded by personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. Isolated associations reported in the literature may be due to confounding bias. PMID:27046778

  8. Are the apparent effects of cigarette smoking on lung and bladder cancers due to uncontrolled confounding by occupational exposures?

    PubMed

    Siemiatycki, J; Dewar, R; Krewski, D; Désy, M; Richardson, L; Franco, E

    1994-01-01

    It has been suggested that the well known associations between smoking and cancer may in part reflect inadequately controlled confounding due to occupational exposures. The purpose of the present analysis is to describe the association between cigarette smoking and both lung and bladder cancers, taking into account the potential confounding effects of over 300 covariates, most of which represent occupational exposures. A population-based case-control study was undertaken in Montreal to investigate the associations between a large variety of environmental and occupational exposures, on the one hand, and several types of cancer, on the other. Interviews were carried out with male incident cases of several sites of cancer, including 857 lung cancers and 484 bladder cancers. A group of non-smoking-related cancers, comprising 1,707 interviewed subjects, was used as one control group. Additionally, 533 population controls were interviewed and constituted a second control group. Interview information included detailed lifetime smoking histories, job histories, and other potential confounders. Each job history was reviewed by a team of experts who translated it into a history of occupational exposures. These occupational exposures, as well as nonoccupational covariates, were treated as potential confounders in the analysis of cigarette smoking effects. Regardless of whether population controls or cancer controls were used, the odds ratio (OR) between smoking and lung cancer (ranging from 12 to 16 for ever vs never smokers) was not materially affected by adjustment for occupational exposures. The odds ratios for bladder cancer (ranging from 2 to 3) were also unaffected by confounding due to occupational exposures.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8117783

  9. Examining the Relationship between Heavy Alcohol Use and Assaults: With Adjustment for the Effects of Unmeasured Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Wenbin; Chikritzhs, Tanya

    2015-01-01

    Background. Experimental studies suggest that alcohol can lead to aggression in laboratory settings; however, it is impossible to test the causal relationship between alcohol use and real-life violence among humans in randomized clinical trials. Objectives. (i) To examine the relationship between heavy alcohol use and assaults in a population based study; (ii) to demonstrate the proxy outcome method, as a means of controlling the effects of unknown/unmeasured confounders in observational studies. Methods. This study used data collected from three waves of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The effects of heavy alcohol use on assault were measured using multivariable logistic regressions in conjunction with the proxy outcome method. Results. Application of the proxy outcome method indicated that effect sizes of heavy alcohol use on the risk of assault were overestimated in the standard models. After adjusting for the effects of unknown/unmeasured confounders, the risk of assault remained 43% and 63% higher (P < 0.05) among participants who consumed 5+ drinks/day for 5–8 days/month and 9–30 days/month, respectively. Conclusions. Even after adjustment for unknown/unmeasured confounders the association between heavy alcohol use and risk of violence remained significant. These findings support the hypothesis that heavy alcohol use can cause violence. PMID:26380283

  10. Potential confounding effects of benzyl alcohol as a formulation excipient support the elimination of the abnormal toxicity test from pharmacopoeias.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jianxun; Ottaviani, Giorgio; Sun, Kai; Lu, Mingqiu; Wu, Xiaoqin; Huang, Sunfeng; Bopst, Martin

    2015-11-01

    Benzyl alcohol is an excipient used in many drugs as a stabilizer. Depending on the amount present in drug formulations there might be confounding findings in the Abnormal Toxicity Test (ATT). The ATT is utilized as a quality control (QC) release test to detect extraneous contaminants according to national pharmacopoeias. Our study assessed the effects of benzyl alcohol as defined in ATT designs. This study - the first thorough evaluation of the confounding effects of benzyl alcohol on the ATT - was conducted in relation to particular health authority questions and was part of the root-cause analyses resulting from some transient behavioral findings observed in the test. Two strains of mice, CD-1 & Kunming, plus Hartley guinea pigs were administered intraperitoneally (ip), subcutaneously (sc), or intravenously (iv) with benzyl alcohol at dose level defined in the ATT design. In both mice and guinea pigs, only after ip administration, minimal behavioral changes were observed transiently within 2-3 min after administration. Therefore, the presence of benzyl alcohol in the product batch may confound the ATT results. This study provides further evidence to question the validity of the ATT for its intended use. PMID:26449397

  11. Depression and Physical Inactivity as Confounding the Effect of Obesity on Atrial Fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Garimella, Roja S; Sears, Samuel F; Gehi, Anil K

    2016-06-01

    Obesity is associated with an increased likelihood for the development of atrial fibrillation (AF) and with worsened AF symptom severity. However, other factors that are correlated with obesity may confound or mediate the relation of obesity with AF symptom severity. The purpose of this study was to determine if depression and physical inactivity may confound the association of obesity and AF symptom severity. Health status and demographic data were captured by questionnaire for 332 outpatients with documented AF. Weight/height was measured and body mass index (kg/m(2)) calculated. Recent depression symptom severity was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 questionnaire. Physical activity during the last month was assessed by questionnaire. AF symptom severity was assessed using the University of Toronto AF Severity scale. Multivariate linear regression was used to evaluate which factors were associated with AF symptom severity. Obesity in patients with AF is associated with increased depression severity. In bivariate analysis, increasing body mass index (p = 0.001), lower levels of physical activity (p <0.001), and more severe depression (p <0.001) were associated with worsened AF symptom severity. In multivariate analysis, only physical activity and depression persisted as significant predictors of AF symptom severity. In conclusion, although obesity likely contributes to the substrate predisposing to the development of AF, other factors may contribute to or mediate the worsened AF symptoms associated with obesity. Depression symptoms and physical inactivity, factors closely correlated with obesity, may exacerbate symptoms in patients with AF. PMID:27067618

  12. Measuring oxidative stress: the confounding effect of lipid concentration in measures of lipid peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Romero-Haro, Ana A; Sternalski, Audrey; Muriel, Jaime; Mougeot, Francois; Gil, Diego; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Lipid peroxidation products are widely used as markers of oxidative damage in the organism. To properly interpret the information provided by these markers, it is necessary to know potential sources of bias and control confounding factors. Here, we investigated the relationship between two indicators of lipid mobilization (circulating levels of triglycerides and cholesterol) and two common markers of oxidative damage (plasma levels of malondialdehyde and hydroperoxides; the latter estimated from the d-ROMs assay kit). The following five avian species were studied: red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor), marsh harrier (Circus aeroginosus), and Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus). In all cases, plasma triglyceride levels positively and significantly correlated with lipid peroxidation markers, explaining between 8% and 34% of their variability. Plasma cholesterol, in contrast, showed a significant positive relationship only among spotless starling nestlings and a marginally significant association in zebra finches. These results indicate that lipid peroxidation marker levels covary with circulating lipid levels. We discuss the potential causes and implications of this covariation and recommend that future studies that measure oxidative damage using lipid peroxidation markers report both raw and relative levels (i.e., corrected for circulating triglycerides). Whether the observed pattern also holds for other tissues and in other taxa would deserve further research. PMID:25860832

  13. A principal stratification approach for evaluating natural direct and indirect effects in the presence of treatment-induced intermediate confounding.

    PubMed

    Taguri, Masataka; Chiba, Yasutaka

    2015-01-15

    Recently, several authors have shown that natural direct and indirect effects (NDEs and NIEs) can be identified under the sequential ignorability assumptions, as long as there is no mediator-outcome confounder that is affected by the treatment. However, if such a confounder exists, NDEs and NIEs will generally not be identified without making additional identifying assumptions. In this article, we propose novel identification assumptions and estimators for evaluating NDEs and NIEs under the usual sequential ignorability assumptions, using the principal stratification framework. It is assumed that the treatment and the mediator are dichotomous. We must impose strong assumptions for identification. However, even if these assumptions were violated, the bias of our estimator would be small under typical conditions, which can be easily evaluated from the observed data. This conjecture is confirmed for binary outcomes by deriving the bounds of the bias terms. In addition, the advantage of our estimator is illustrated through a simulation study. We also propose a method of sensitivity analysis that examines what happens when our assumptions are violated. We apply the proposed method to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. PMID:25312003

  14. Disentangling the confounding effects of PAR and air temperature on net ecosystem exchange in time and scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    yang, Z.; Chen, J.; Becker, R.; Chu, H.; Xie, J.; Shao, C.

    2013-12-01

    Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) in temperate forests is modulated by microclimatic factors. The effects of those factors differ at different time scales and during different time periods. Some of them are correlated across a number of time scales, so their effects on NEE are confounded by each other. PAR and air temperature (Ta) are among the two most important drivers of NEE in temperate forests, and among the two most correlated microclimatic factors. PAR and Ta have similar daily, seasonal, and annual cycles. Their influence on NEE is confounded by each other and entangled together especially at those scales. In this study, we tried to disentangle the confounding effects of them on NEE at different time scales and during different time periods. To accomplish this objective, we applied the innovative spectral analysis techniques including Continuous Wavelet Transformation (CWT), Cross Wavelet Transformation (XWT), Wavelet Coherent (WTC), and Partial Wavelet Coherence (PWC) on seven years time series (2004-2010) of PAR, Ta and NEE from the Ohio Oak Openings site (N 41.5545°, W 83.8438°), USA for spectral analysis. We found that PAR is the major driver at short time scales (e.g. semidiurnal and daily) and Ta is the major driver at long time scales (e.g. seasonal and annual). At daily scale during growing seasons, PAR is anti-phase with NEE with no time delay while Ta lagged PAR about 2-3 hours, which could be explained by the strong dependence of photosynthesis on PAR and a 2-3 hours lags of the daily course of Ta to PAR. At daily scale during non-growing season, NEE has little variation and thus neither Ta nor PAR has high common wavelet power and significant coherence with NEE. At annual scale, Ta is anti-phase with NEE and PAR leads NEE about 34 days, which could be explained by the strong dependence of LAI dynamics on Ta and the lag between the LAI/biomass development and the progress of sunlight. We also found that NEE distributes most of its variation

  15. When can we measure stress noninvasively? Postdeposition effects on a fecal stress metric confound a multiregional assessment.

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Measurement of stress hormone metabolites in fecal samples has become a common method to assess physiological stress in wildlife populations. Glucocorticoid metabolite (GCM) measurements can be collected noninvasively, and studies relating this stress metric to anthropogenic disturbance are increasing. However, environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature) can alter measured GCM concentration when fecal samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. This effect can confound efforts to separate environmental factors causing predeposition physiological stress in an individual from those acting on a fecal sample postdeposition. We used fecal samples from American pikas (Ochotona princeps) to examine the influence of environmental conditions on GCM concentration by (1) comparing GCM concentration measured in freshly collected control samples to those placed in natural habitats for timed exposure, and (2) relating GCM concentration in samples collected noninvasively throughout the western United States to local environmental characteristics measured before and after deposition. Our timed-exposure trials clarified the spatial scale at which exposure to environmental factors postdeposition influences GCM concentration in pika feces. Also, fecal samples collected from occupied pika habitats throughout the species' range revealed significant relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the postdeposition period (maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation during the month of sample collection). Conversely, we found no such relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the predeposition period (prior to the month of sample collection). Together, these results indicate that noninvasive measurement of physiological stress in pikas across the western US may be confounded by climatic conditions in the postdeposition environment when samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. Our results reiterate the importance

  16. Confounding effects of aqueous-phase impinger chemistry on apparent oxidation of mercury in flue gases

    SciTech Connect

    Brydger Cauch; Geoffrey D. Silcox; Joann S. Lighty; Jost O.L. Wendt; Andrew Fry; Constance L. Senior

    2008-04-01

    Gas-phase reactions between elemental mercury and chlorine are a possible pathway to producing oxidized mercury species such as mercuric chloride in combustion systems. This study examines the effect of the chemistry of a commonly used sample conditioning system on apparent and actual levels of mercury oxidation in a methane-fired, 0.3 kW, quartz-lined reactor in which gas composition (HCl, Cl{sub 2}, NOx, SO{sub 2}) and quench rate were varied. The sample conditioning system included two impingers in parallel: one containing an aqueous solution of KCl to trap HgCl{sub 2}, and one containing an aqueous solution of SnCl{sub 2} to reduce HgCl{sub 2} to elemental mercury (Hg{sup 0}). Gas-phase concentrations of Cl{sub 2} as low as 1.5 ppmv were sufficient to oxidize a significant fraction of the elemental mercury in the KCl impinger via the hypochlorite ion. Furthermore, these low, but interfering levels of Cl{sub 2} appeared to persist in flue gases from several doped rapidly mixed flames with varied post flame temperature quench rates. The addition of 0.5 wt% sodium thiosulfate to the KCl solution completely prevented the oxidation from occurring in the impinger. The addition of thiosulfate did not inhibit the KCl impinger's ability to capture HgCl{sub 2}. The effectiveness of the thiosulfate was unchanged by NO or SO{sub 2}. These results bring into question laboratory scale experimental data on mercury oxidation where wet chemistry was used to partition metallic and oxidized mercury without the presence of sufficient levels of SO{sub 2}. 23 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Selective predation on hantavirus-infected voles by owls and confounding effects from landscape properties.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-06-01

    It has been suggested that predators may protect human health through reducing disease-host densities or selectively preying on infected individuals from the population. However, this has not been tested empirically. We hypothesized that Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus) selectively preys on hantavirus-infected individuals of its staple prey, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). Bank voles are hosts of Puumala hantavirus, which causes a form of hemorrhagic fever in humans. Selective predation by owls on infected voles may reduce human disease risk. We compared the prevalence of anti-Puumala hantavirus antibodies (seroprevalence), in bank voles cached by owls in nest boxes to seroprevalence in voles trapped in closed-canopy forest around each nest box. We found no general difference in seroprevalence. Forest landscape structure could partly account for the observed patterns in seroprevalence. Only in more connected forest patches was seroprevalence in bank voles cached in nest boxes higher than seroprevalence in trapped voles. This effect disappeared with increasing forest patch isolation, as seroprevalence in trapped voles increased with forest patch isolation, but did not in cached voles. Our results suggest a complex relationship between zoonotic disease prevalence in hosts, their predators, and landscape structure. Some mechanisms that may have caused the seroprevalence patterns in our results include higher bank vole density in isolated forest patches. This study offers future research potential to shed further light on the contribution of predators and landscape properties to human health. PMID:26873607

  18. Severity grading of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the confounding effect of phenotype and thoracic gas compression.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Riccardo; Crimi, Emanuele; Gobbi, Alessandro; Torchio, Roberto; Antonelli, Andrea; Gulotta, Carlo; Baroffio, Michele; Papa, Giuseppe Francesco Sferrazza; Dellacà, Raffaele; Brusasco, Vito

    2015-04-01

    Current guidelines recommend severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease be graded by using forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). But this measurement is biased by thoracic gas compression depending on lung volume and airflow resistance. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the effect of thoracic gas compression on FEV1 is greater in emphysema than chronic bronchitis because of larger lung volumes, and this influences severity classification and prognosis. FEV1 was simultaneously measured by spirometry and body plethysmography (FEV1-pl) in 47 subjects with dominant emphysema and 51 with dominant chronic bronchitis. Subjects with dominant emphysema had larger lung volumes, lower diffusion capacity, and lower FEV1 than those with dominant chronic bronchitis. However, FEV1-pl, patient-centered variables (dyspnea, quality of life, exercise tolerance, exacerbation frequency), arterial blood gases, and respiratory impedance were not significantly different between groups. Using FEV1-pl instead of FEV1 shifted severity distribution toward less severe classes in dominant emphysema more than chronic bronchitis. The body mass, obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise (BODE) index was significantly higher in dominant emphysema than chronic bronchitis, but this difference significantly decreased when FEV1-pl was substituted for FEV1. In conclusion, the FEV1 is biased by thoracic gas compression more in subjects with dominant emphysema than in those with chronic bronchitis. This variably and significantly affects the severity grading systems currently recommended. PMID:25414244

  19. The confounding effects of light, sonication, and Mn(III)TBAP on quantitation of superoxide using hydroethidine.

    PubMed

    Zielonka, Jacek; Vasquez-Vivar, Jeannette; Kalyanaraman, B

    2006-10-01

    Previously, we showed that hydroethidine (HE) reacts with intracellular superoxide radical anion (O2-*) to form a unique fluorescent marker product, 2-hydroxyethidium cation (2-OH-E+), that was not formed from HE reaction with other biologically relevant oxidants (H. Zhao et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA102:5727-5732; 2005). Here we rigorously assessed the confounding effects of light, sonication, and Mn(III)TBAP on 2-OH-E+, the HE/O2-* reaction product. Results indicate that continuous exposure to visible light induced photo-oxidation of HE to ethidium cation (E+) by a 2-OH-E+ -dependent mechanism. Treatment of HE with ultrasound, a frequently used technique to lyse cell membranes, induced 2-OH-E+ from in situ generation of O2-*. Mn(III)TBAP, a cell-permeable metal-porphyrin complex used as a catalytic antioxidant, reacts with HE to form E+. This finding provides an alternative interpretation for Mn(III)TBAP effects during the HE/O2-* reaction. In order to correctly interpret the HE reaction with O2-* in cells, it is therefore imperative that HE and HE-derived products be measured by HPLC. A new and improved HPLC-electrochemical (HPLC-EC) detection has been developed for analysis of intracellular O2-*. The HPLC-EC method is at least 10 times more sensitive than the HPLC-fluorescence technique for detecting O2-* in cells. PMID:16962930

  20. Are apparent negative effects of feeding GM MON810 maize to Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, caused by confounding factors?

    PubMed

    Sissener, Nini H; Hemre, Gro-Ingunn; Lall, Santosh P; Sagstad, Anita; Petersen, Kjell; Williams, Jason; Rohloff, Jens; Sanden, Monica

    2011-07-01

    The present study was conducted to follow up on apparent differences in growth, relative organ sizes, cellular stress and immune function in Atlantic salmon fed feed containing GM Bacillus thuringiensis maize compared with feed containing the non-modified parental maize line. Gene expression profiling on the distal intestinal segment and liver was performed by microarray, and selected genes were followed up by quantitative PCR (qPCR). In the liver, qPCR revealed some differentially regulated genes, including up-regulation of gelsolin precursor, down-regulation of ferritin heavy subunit and a tendency towards down-regulation of metallothionein (MT)-B. This, combined with the up-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein NR13 and similar tendencies for ferritin heavy chain and MT-A and -B in the distal intestine, suggests changes in cellular stress/antioxidant status. This corresponds well with and strengthens previous findings in these fish. To exclude possible confounding factors, the maize ingredients were analysed for mycotoxins and metabolites. The GM maize contained 90 μg/kg of deoxynivalenol (DON), while the non-GM maize was below the detection limit. Differences were also observed in the metabolite profiles of the two maize varieties, some of which seemed connected to the mycotoxin level. The effects on salmon observed in the present and previous studies correspond relatively well with the effects of DON as reported in the literature for other production animals, but knowledge regarding effects and harmful dose levels in fish is scarce. Thus, it is difficult to conclude whether the observed effects are caused by the DON level or by some other aspect of the GM maize ingredient. PMID:21418706

  1. Confounding effect of EEG implantation surgery: Inadequacy of surgical control in a two hit model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Balzekas, Irena; Hernandez, Jose; White, Jacob; Koh, Sookyong

    2016-05-27

    In rodent models of epilepsy, EEG implantation surgery is an essential modality to evaluate electrographic seizures. The inflammatory consequences of EEG electrode-implantation and their resultant effects on seizure susceptibility are unclear. We evaluated electrode-implantation in a two-hit model of epileptogenesis in C57BL/6 mice that included brief, recurrent febrile seizures (FS) at P14 and kainic acid induced seizures (KA-SZ) at P28. During KA-SZ, latencies to first electrographic and behavioral seizures, seizure severity, and KA dose sensitivity were measured. Mice that received subdural screw electrode implants at P25 for EEG monitoring at P28 had significantly shorter latencies to seizures than sham mice, regardless of early life seizure experience. Electrode-implanted mice were sensitive to low dose KA as shown by high mortality rate at KA doses above 10mg/kg. We then directly compared electrode-implantation and KA-SZ in seizure naive CX3CR1(GFP/+) transgenic C57BL/6 mice, wherein microglia express green fluorescent protein (GFP), to determine if microglia activation related to surgery was associated with the increased seizure susceptibility in electrode-implanted mice from the two-hit model. Hippocampal microglia activation, as demonstrated by percent area GFP signal and GFP positive cell counts, prior to seizures was indistinguishable between electrode-implanted mice and controls, but was significantly greater in electrode-implanted mice following seizures. Electrode-implantation had a confounding priming effect on the inflammatory response to subsequent seizures. PMID:27095588

  2. The essence of linkage-based imprinting detection: comparing power, type 1 error, and the effects of confounders in two different analysis approaches.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, David A; Monti, Maria Cristina; Feenstra, Bjarke; Zhang, Junying; Hodge, Susan E

    2010-05-01

    Imprinting is critical to understanding disease expression. It can be detected using linkage information, but the effects of potential confounders (heterogeneity, sex-specific penetrance, and sex-biased ascertainment) have not been explored. We examine power and confounders in two imprinting detection approaches, and we explore imprinting-linkage interaction. One method (PP) models imprinting by maximising lod scores w.r.t. parent-specific penetrances. The second (DRF) approximates imprinting by maximising lods over differential male-female recombination fractions. We compared power, type 1 error, and confounder effects in these two methods, using computer-simulated data. We varied heterogeneity, penetrance, family and dataset size, and confounders that might mimic imprinting. Without heterogeneity, PP had more imprinting-detecting power than DRF. PP's power increased when parental affectedness status was ignored, but decreased with heterogeneity. With heterogeneity, type 1 error increased dramatically for both methods. However, DRF's power also increased under heterogeneity, more than was attributable to inflated type 1 error. Sex-specific penetrance could increase false positives for PP but not for DRF. False positives did not increase on ascertainment through an affected "mother". For PP, non-penetrant individuals increased information, arguing against using affected-only methods. The high type 1 error levels under some circumstances means these methods must be used cautiously. PMID:20374235

  3. Effect modification by time-varying covariates.

    PubMed

    Robins, James M; Hernán, Miguel A; Rotnitzky, Andrea

    2007-11-01

    Marginal structural models (MSMs) allow estimation of effect modification by baseline covariates, but they are less useful for estimating effect modification by evolving time-varying covariates. Rather, structural nested models (SNMs) were specifically designed to estimate effect modification by time-varying covariates. In their paper, Petersen et al. (Am J Epidemiol 2007;166:985-993) describe history-adjusted MSMs as a generalized form of MSM and argue that history-adjusted MSMs allow a researcher to easily estimate effect modification by time-varying covariates. However, history-adjusted MSMs can result in logically incompatible parameter estimates and hence in contradictory substantive conclusions. Here the authors propose a more restrictive definition of history-adjusted MSMs than the one provided by Petersen et al. and compare the advantages and disadvantages of using history-adjusted MSMs, as opposed to SNMs, to examine effect modification by time-dependent covariates. PMID:17875581

  4. Removing the influence of feature repetitions on the congruency sequence effect: why regressing out confounds from a nested design will often fall short.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, James R; De Schryver, Maarten; Weissman, Daniel H

    2014-12-01

    This article illustrates a shortcoming of using regression to control for confounds in nested designs. As an example, we consider the congruency sequence effect, which is the observation that the congruency effect in distractor interference (e.g., Stroop) tasks is smaller following incongruent as compared with congruent trials. The congruency sequence effect is often interpreted as indexing conflict adaptation: a relative increase of attention to the target following incongruent trials. However, feature repetitions across consecutive trials can complicate this interpretation. To control for this confound, the standard procedure is to delete all trials with a stimulus or response repetition and analyze the remaining trials. Notebaert and Verguts (2007) present an alternative method that allows researchers to use all trials. Specifically, they employ multiple regression to model conflict adaptation independent of feature repetitions. We show here that this approach fails to account for certain feature repetition effects. Furthermore, modeling these additional effects is typically not possible because of an upper bound on the number of degrees of freedom in the experiment. These findings have important implications for future investigations of conflict adaptation and, more broadly, for all researchers who attempt to regress out confounds in nested designs. PMID:25419672

  5. Does environmental confounding mask pleiotropic effects of a multiple sclerosis susceptibility variant on vitamin D in psychosis?

    PubMed Central

    Iyegbe, Conrad O; Acharya, Anita; Lally, John; Gardner-Sood, Poonam; Smith, Louise S; Smith, Shubulade; Murray, Robin; Howes, Oliver; Gaughran, Fiona

    2015-01-01

    Background: This work addresses the existing and emerging evidence of overlap within the environmental and genetic profiles of multiple sclerosis (MS) and schizophrenia. Aims: To investigate whether a genetic risk factor for MS (rs703842), whose variation is indicative of vitamin D status in the disorder, could also be a determinant of vitamin D status in chronic psychosis patients. Methods: A cohort of 224 chronic psychosis cases was phenotyped and biologically profiled. The relationship between rs703842 and physiological vitamin D status in the blood plasma was assessed by logistic regression. Deficiency was defined as a blood plasma concentration below 10 ng/µl. Potential environmental confounders of the vitamin D status were considered as part of the analysis. Results: We report suggestive evidence of an association with vitamin D status in established psychosis (ßstandardized=0.51, P=0.04). The logistic model fit significantly benefited from controlling for body mass index, depression and ethnicity (χ2=91.7; 2 degrees of freedom (df); P=1.2×1020). Conclusions: The results suggest that, in addition to lifestyle changes that accompany the onset of illness, vitamin D dysregulation in psychosis has a genetic component that links into MS. Further, comprehensive studies are needed to evaluate this prospect. PMID:27336042

  6. Structural equation modeling versus marginal structural modeling for assessing mediation in the presence of posttreatment confounding.

    PubMed

    Moerkerke, Beatrijs; Loeys, Tom; Vansteelandt, Stijn

    2015-06-01

    Inverse probability weighting for marginal structural models has been suggested as a strategy to estimate the direct effect of a treatment or exposure on an outcome in studies where the effect of mediator on outcome is subject to posttreatment confounding. This type of confounding, whereby confounders of the effect of mediator on outcome are themselves affected by the exposure, complicates mediation analyses and necessitates apt analysis strategies. In this article, we contrast the inverse probability weighting approach with the traditional path analysis approach to mediation analysis. We show that in a particular class of linear models, adjustment for posttreatment confounding can be realized via a fairly standard modification of the traditional path analysis approach. The resulting approach is simpler; by avoiding inverse probability weighting, it moreover results in direct effect estimators with smaller finite sample bias and greater precision. We further show that a particular variant of the G-estimation approach from the causal inference literature is equivalent with the path analysis approach in simple linear settings but is more generally applicable in settings with interactions and/or noncontinuous mediators and confounders. We conclude that the use of inverse probability weighting for marginal structural models to adjust for posttreatment confounding in mediation analysis is primarily indicated in nonlinear models for the outcome. PMID:25751514

  7. 'Bigger data' on scale-dependent effects of invasive species on biodiversity cannot overcome confounded analyses: a comment on Stohlgren & Rejmánek (2014).

    PubMed

    Chase, Jonathan M; Powell, Kristin I; Knight, Tiffany M

    2015-08-01

    A recent study by Stohlgren & Rejmánek (SR: Stohlgren TJ, Rejmánek M. 2014 Biol. Lett. 10. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0939)) purported to test the generality of a recent finding of scale-dependent effects of invasive plants on native diversity; dominant invasive plants decreased the intercept and increased the slope of the species-area relationship. SR (2014) find little correlation between invasive species cover and the slopes and intercepts of SARs across a diversity of sites. We show that the analyses of SR (2014) are inappropriate because of confounding causality. PMID:26246332

  8. An indicator for effects of organic toxicants on lotic invertebrate communities: Independence of confounding environmental factors over an extensive river continuum.

    PubMed

    Beketov, Mikhail A; Liess, Matthias

    2008-12-01

    Distinguishing between effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental factors on ecosystems is a fundamental problem in environmental science. In river systems the longitudinal gradient of environmental factors is one of the most relevant sources of dissimilarity between communities that could be confounded with anthropogenic disturbances. To test the hypothesis that in macroinvertebrate communities the distribution of species' sensitivity to organic toxicants is independent of natural longitudinal factors, but depends on contamination with organic toxicants, we analysed the relationship between community sensitivity SPEAR(organic) (average community sensitivity to organic toxicants) and natural and anthropogenic environmental factors in a large-scale river system, from alpine streams to a lowland river. The results show that SPEAR(organic) is largely independent of natural longitudinal factors, but strongly dependent on contamination with organic toxicants (petrochemicals and synthetic surfactants). Usage of SPEAR(organic) as a stressor-specific longitude-independent measure will facilitate detection of community disturbance by organic toxicants. PMID:18547697

  9. An empirical comparison of several clustered data approaches under confounding due to cluster effects in the analysis of complications of coronary angioplasty.

    PubMed

    Berlin, J A; Kimmel, S E; Ten Have, T R; Sammel, M D

    1999-06-01

    In the analysis of binary response data from many types of large studies, the data are likely to have arisen from multiple centers, resulting in a within-center correlation for the response. Such correlation, or clustering, occurs when outcomes within centers tend to be more similar to each other than to outcomes in other centers. In studies where there is also variability among centers with respect to the exposure of interest, analysis of the exposure-outcome association may be confounded, even after accounting for within-center correlations. We apply several analytic methods to compare the risk of major complications associated with two strategies, staged and combined procedures, for performing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a mechanical means of relieving blockage of blood vessels due to atherosclerosis. Combined procedures are used in some centers as a cost-cutting strategy. We performed a number of population-averaged and cluster-specific (conditional) analyses, which (a) make no adjustments for center effects of any kind; (b) make adjustments for the effect of center on only the response; or (c) make adjustments for both the effect of center on the response and the relationship between center and exposure. The method used for this third approach decomposes the procedure type variable into within-center and among-center components, resulting in two odds ratio estimates. The naive analysis, ignoring clusters, gave a highly significant effect of procedure type (OR = 1.6). Population average models gave marginally to very nonsignificant estimates of the OR for treatment type ranging from 1.6 to 1.2 with adjustment only for the effect of centers on response. These results depended on the assumed correlation structure. Conditional (cluster-specific) models and other methods that decomposed the treatment type variable into among- and within-center components all found no within-center effect of procedure type (OR = 1.02, consistently) and a

  10. The confounding effects of source isotopic heterogeneity on consumer-diet and tissue-tissue stable isotope relationships.

    PubMed

    Codron, Daryl; Sponheimer, Matt; Codron, Jacqui; Newton, Ian; Lanham, John L; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-08-01

    Stable isotope analysis of consumer tissues document patterns of resource use because data are linearly related to isotope compositions of their source(s) (i.e., food, water, etc.). Deviations in parameters estimated for these relationships can arise from variations in consumer tissue-diet spacing (Δ(TS)) and the level of isotopic heterogeneity in the source(s). We present a set of simple hypotheses that distinguish between the effects of Δ(TS) and source isotope heterogeneity. The latter may arise via mixed diets, during tissue turnover, or by isotopic routing of dietary components. We apply these concepts to stable carbon and nitrogen isotope relationships between gut contents and body tissues of large mammal herbivores from mixed C(3)/C(4) South African savannas and test predictions based on the compound- and/or time-specific data archived within each material. Predicted effects of source isotope heterogeneity are readily detected in carbon isotope relationships between materials representing different time periods or comprising bulk versus protein-only diet components. Differences in Δ(TS) of carbon isotopes across mammal herbivore species with very different feeding niches (and diet isotope compositions) are likely to be small or non-existent in these habitats. Variations in Δ(TS) estimated for nitrogen isotopes are much greater, leading to inconsistencies that cannot be explained by diet or trophic level effects alone. The effects of source heterogeneity on isotopic relationships generate numerical artefacts that have been misinterpreted as variations in Δ(TS). We caution against generalized application of hypotheses based on assumptions of source isotopic homogeneity, even for single diets commonly used in laboratory studies. More careful consideration of how heterogeneity affects consumer-diet relationships is needed for many field and laboratory systems. PMID:22349754

  11. Analysis of the effects of microbiome-related confounding factors on the reproducibility of the volatolomic test.

    PubMed

    Leja, Marcis; Amal, Haitham; Lasina, Ieva; Skapars, Roberts; Sivins, Armands; Ancans, Guntis; Tolmanis, Ivars; Vanags, Aigars; Kupcinskas, Juozas; Ramonaite, Rima; Khatib, Salam; Bdarneh, Shifaa; Natour, Rasha; Ashkar, Areen; Haick, Hossam

    2016-01-01

    Volatile organic compound (VOC) testing in breath has potential in gastric cancer (GC) detection. Our objective was to assess the reproducibility of VOCs in GC, and the effects of conditions modifying gut microbiome on the test results. Ten patients with GC were sampled for VOC over three consecutive days; 17 patients were sampled before and after H. pylori eradication therapy combined with a yeast probiotic; 61 patients were sampled before and after bowel cleansing (interventions affecting the microbiome). The samples were analyzed by: (1) gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), applying the non-parametric Wilcoxon test (level of significance p  <  0.05); (2) by cross-reactive nanoarrays combined with pattern recognition. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) was used to build the classification models; and leave-one-out cross-validation analysis was used to classify the findings. Exhaled VOCs profiles were stable for GC patients over a three day period. Alpha pinene (p  =  0.028) and ethyl acetate (p  =  0.030) increased after the antibiotic containing eradication regimen; acetone (p  =  0.0001) increased following bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy. We further hypothesize that S. boulardii given with the standard eradication regimen to re-establish the gut microbiome was the source for long-term ethyl acetate production. Differences between the initial and the follow-up sample were also revealed in the DFA analysis of the sensor data. VOC measurement results are well-reproducible in GC patients indicating a useful basis for potential disease diagnostics. However, interventions with a potential effect on the gut microbiome may have an effect upon the VOC results, and therefore should be considered for diagnostic accuracy. PMID:27341527

  12. The Table 2 Fallacy: Presenting and Interpreting Confounder and Modifier Coefficients

    PubMed Central

    Westreich, Daniel; Greenland, Sander

    2013-01-01

    It is common to present multiple adjusted effect estimates from a single model in a single table. For example, a table might show odds ratios for one or more exposures and also for several confounders from a single logistic regression. This can lead to mistaken interpretations of these estimates. We use causal diagrams to display the sources of the problems. Presentation of exposure and confounder effect estimates from a single model may lead to several interpretative difficulties, inviting confusion of direct-effect estimates with total-effect estimates for covariates in the model. These effect estimates may also be confounded even though the effect estimate for the main exposure is not confounded. Interpretation of these effect estimates is further complicated by heterogeneity (variation, modification) of the exposure effect measure across covariate levels. We offer suggestions to limit potential misunderstandings when multiple effect estimates are presented, including precise distinction between total and direct effect measures from a single model, and use of multiple models tailored to yield total-effect estimates for covariates. PMID:23371353

  13. Confounding effects of anesthesia on functional activation in rodent brain: a study of halothane and alpha-chloralose anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Austin, V C; Blamire, A M; Allers, K A; Sharp, T; Styles, P; Matthews, P M; Sibson, N R

    2005-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in animal models provides a platform for more extensive investigation of drug effects and underlying physiological mechanisms than is possible in humans. However, it is usually necessary for the animal to be anesthetized. In this study, we have used a rat model of direct cortical stimulation to investigate the effects of anesthesia in rodent fMRI. Specifically, we have sought to answer two questions (i) what is the relationship between baseline neuronal activity and the BOLD response to stimulation under halothane anesthesia? And (ii) how does the BOLD response change after transferring from halothane to the commonly used anesthetic alpha-chloralose? In the first set of experiments, we found no significant differences in the amplitude of the BOLD response at the different halothane doses studied, despite electroencephalography (EEG) recordings indicating a dose-dependent reduction in baseline neuronal activity with increasing halothane levels. In the second set of experiments, a reduction in the spatial extent of the BOLD response was apparent immediately after transfer from halothane to alpha-chloralose anesthesia, although no change in the peak signal change was evident. However, several hours after transfer to alpha-chloralose, a significant increase in both the spatial extent and peak height of the BOLD response was observed, as well as an increased sensitivity to secondary cortical and subcortical activation. These findings suggest that, although alpha-chloralose anesthesia is associated with a greater BOLD response for a fixed stimulus relative to halothane, there is substantial variation in the extent and magnitude of the response over time that could introduce considerable variability in studies using this anesthetic. PMID:15588600

  14. Estimating controlled direct effects in the presence of intermediate confounding of the mediator-outcome relationship: Comparison of five different methods.

    PubMed

    Lepage, B; Dedieu, D; Savy, N; Lang, T

    2016-04-01

    In mediation analysis between an exposure X and an outcome Y, estimation of the direct effect of X on Y by usual regression after adjustment for the mediator M may be biased if Z is a confounder between M and Y, and is also affected by X Alternative methods have been described to avoid such a bias: inverse probability of treatment weighting with and without weight truncation, the sequential g-estimator and g-computation. Our aim was to compare the usual linear regression adjusted for M to these methods when estimating the controlled direct effect between X and Y in the causal structure and to explore the size of the potential bias. Estimations were computed in several simulated data sets as well as real data. We observed an increased bias of the controlled direct effect estimation using linear regression adjusted for M for larger effects of X on M and larger effects of Z on M The sequential g-estimator and g-computation gave unbiased estimations with adequate coverage values in every situation studied. With continuous exposure X and mediator M, inverse probability of treatment weighting resulted in some bias and less satisfactory coverage for large effects of X on M and Z on M. PMID:23070596

  15. Confounding compression: the effects of posture, sizing and garment type on measured interface pressure in sports compression clothing.

    PubMed

    Brophy-Williams, Ned; Driller, Matthew William; Shing, Cecilia Mary; Fell, James William; Halson, Shona Leigh; Halson, Shona Louise

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to measure the interface pressure exerted by lower body sports compression garments, in order to assess the effect of garment type, size and posture in athletes. Twelve national-level boxers were fitted with sports compression garments (tights and leggings), each in three different sizes (undersized, recommended size and oversized). Interface pressure was assessed across six landmarks on the lower limb (ranging from medial malleolus to upper thigh) as athletes assumed sitting, standing and supine postures. Sports compression leggings exerted a significantly higher mean pressure than sports compression tights (P < 0.001). Oversized tights applied significantly less pressure than manufacturer-recommended size or undersized tights (P < 0.001), yet no significant differences were apparent between different-sized leggings. Standing posture resulted in significantly higher mean pressure application than a seated posture for both tights and leggings (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively). Pressure was different across landmarks, with analyses revealing a pressure profile that was neither strictly graduated nor progressive in nature. The pressure applied by sports compression garments is significantly affected by garment type, size and posture assumed by the wearer. PMID:25530213

  16. Interpretational Confounding or Confounded Interpretations of Causal Indicators?

    PubMed Central

    Bainter, Sierra A.; Bollen, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    In measurement theory causal indicators are controversial and little-understood. Methodological disagreement concerning causal indicators has centered on the question of whether causal indicators are inherently sensitive to interpretational confounding, which occurs when the empirical meaning of a latent construct departs from the meaning intended by a researcher. This article questions the validity of evidence used to claim that causal indicators are inherently susceptible to interpretational confounding. Further, a simulation study demonstrates that causal indicator coefficients are stable across correctly-specified models. Determining the suitability of causal indicators has implications for the way we conceptualize measurement and build and evaluate measurement models. PMID:25530730

  17. P-wave indices in patients with pulmonary emphysema: do P-terminal force and interatrial block have confounding effects?

    PubMed Central

    Chhabra, Lovely; Chaubey, Vinod K; Kothagundla, Chandrasekhar; Bajaj, Rishi; Kaul, Sudesh; Spodick, David H

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Pulmonary emphysema causes several electrocardiogram changes, and one of the most common and well known is on the frontal P-wave axis. P-axis verticalization (P-axis > 60°) serves as a quasidiagnostic indicator of emphysema. The correlation of P-axis verticalization with the radiological severity of emphysema and severity of chronic obstructive lung function have been previously investigated and well described in the literature. However, the correlation of P-axis verticalization in emphysema with other P-indices like P-terminal force in V1 (Ptf), amplitude of initial positive component of P-waves in V1 (i-PV1), and interatrial block (IAB) have not been well studied. Our current study was undertaken to investigate the effects of emphysema on these P-wave indices in correlation with the verticalization of the P-vector. Materials and methods Unselected, routinely recorded electrocardiograms of 170 hospitalized emphysema patients were studied. Significant Ptf (s-Ptf) was considered ≥40 mm.ms and was divided into two types based on the morphology of P-waves in V1: either a totally negative (−) P wave in V1 or a biphasic (+/−) P wave in V1. Results s-Ptf correlated better with vertical P-vectors than nonvertical P-vectors (P = 0.03). s-Ptf also significantly correlated with IAB (P = 0.001); however, IAB and P-vector verticalization did not appear to have any significant correlation (P = 0.23). There was a very weak correlation between i-PV1 and frontal P-vector (r = 0.15; P = 0.047); however, no significant correlation was found between i-PV1 and P-amplitude in lead III (r = 0.07; P = 0.36). Conclusion We conclude that increased P-tf in emphysema may be due to downward right atrial position caused by right atrial displacement, and thus the common assumption that increased P-tf implies left atrial enlargement should be made with caution in patients with emphysema. Also, the lack of strong correlation between i-PV1 and P-amplitude in lead III or

  18. Interpretational Confounding or Confounded Interpretations of Causal Indicators?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bainter, Sierra A.; Bollen, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    In measurement theory, causal indicators are controversial and little understood. Methodological disagreement concerning causal indicators has centered on the question of whether causal indicators are inherently sensitive to interpretational confounding, which occurs when the empirical meaning of a latent construct departs from the meaning…

  19. Assessing Sensitivity to Unmeasured Confounding Using a Simulated Potential Confounder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, Nicole Bohme; Harada, Masataka; Hill, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    A major obstacle to developing evidenced-based policy is the difficulty of implementing randomized experiments to answer all causal questions of interest. When using a nonexperimental study, it is critical to assess how much the results could be affected by unmeasured confounding. We present a set of graphical and numeric tools to explore the…

  20. Adjusting for confounding effects of treatment switching in a randomized phase II study of dabrafenib plus trametinib in BRAF V600+ metastatic melanoma.

    PubMed

    Latimer, Nicholas R; Amonkar, Mayur M; Stapelkamp, Ceilidh; Sun, Peng

    2015-12-01

    Patients with BRAF V600E mutation-positive melanoma who were assigned to 150 mg dabrafenib twice daily combined with 2 mg trametinib once daily in a phase I/II study showed a median overall survival (OS) of 23.8 months, compared with 20.2 months for patients assigned to dabrafenib alone [hazard ratio (HR)=0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43-1.24; data cutoff March 2013], on the basis of an intention-to-treat analysis. Because patients assigned to dabrafenib monotherapy were allowed to switch to combination therapy upon disease progression, we attempted to adjust for confounding effects on OS. Randomization-based adjustment methods, Rank Preserving Structural Failure Time Models and the Iterative Parameter Estimation algorithm, were used. Two analyses, 'treatment group' (assumes that treatment effect continues beyond treatment discontinuation) and 'on treatment' (assumes that the treatment effect disappears upon treatment discontinuation), were used to test assumptions on the durability of the treatment effect. A total of 45/54 (83%) patients assigned to dabrafenib monotherapy switched to the trametinib/dabrafenib combination. Adjusted OS HRs ranged from 0.47 to 0.50, depending on the analysis, compared with the unadjusted OS HR of 0.73. CIs continued to cross 1.00; thus, adjusted estimates did not provide statistically significant evidence of a treatment benefit on survival. Reduction of HRs after adjusting for the effect of treatment switching suggests that the intention-to-treat analysis underestimates the effect of dabrafenib plus trametinib on OS, although several factors, such as small trial size and methodological assumptions, affect the certainty of the conclusions. PMID:26340744

  1. Observed effects of “distributional learning” may not relate to the number of peaks. A test of “dispersion” as a confounding factor

    PubMed Central

    Wanrooij, Karin; Boersma, Paul; Benders, Titia

    2015-01-01

    Distributional learning of speech sounds is learning from simply being exposed to frequency distributions of speech sounds in one’s surroundings. In laboratory settings, the mechanism has been reported to be discernible already after a few minutes of exposure, in both infants and adults. These “effects of distributional training” have traditionally been attributed to the difference in the number of peaks between the experimental distribution (two peaks) and the control distribution (one or zero peaks). However, none of the earlier studies fully excluded a possibly confounding effect of the dispersion in the distributions. Additionally, some studies with a non-speech control condition did not control for a possible difference between processing speech and non-speech. The current study presents an experiment that corrects both imperfections. Spanish listeners were exposed to either a bimodal distribution encompassing the Dutch contrast /ɑ/∼/a/ or a unimodal distribution with the same dispersion. Before and after training, their accuracy of categorization of [ɑ]- and [a]-tokens was measured. A traditionally calculated p-value showed no significant difference in categorization improvement between bimodally and unimodally trained participants. Because of this null result, a Bayesian method was used to assess the odds in favor of the null hypothesis. Four different Bayes factors, each calculated on a different belief in the truth value of previously found effect sizes, indicated the absence of a difference between bimodally and unimodally trained participants. The implication is that “effects of distributional training” observed in the lab are not induced by the number of peaks in the distributions. PMID:26441719

  2. Modeling confounding by half-sibling regression

    PubMed Central

    Schölkopf, Bernhard; Hogg, David W.; Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Janzing, Dominik; Simon-Gabriel, Carl-Johann; Peters, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    We describe a method for removing the effect of confounders to reconstruct a latent quantity of interest. The method, referred to as “half-sibling regression,” is inspired by recent work in causal inference using additive noise models. We provide a theoretical justification, discussing both independent and identically distributed as well as time series data, respectively, and illustrate the potential of the method in a challenging astronomy application. PMID:27382154

  3. Modeling confounding by half-sibling regression.

    PubMed

    Schölkopf, Bernhard; Hogg, David W; Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Janzing, Dominik; Simon-Gabriel, Carl-Johann; Peters, Jonas

    2016-07-01

    We describe a method for removing the effect of confounders to reconstruct a latent quantity of interest. The method, referred to as "half-sibling regression," is inspired by recent work in causal inference using additive noise models. We provide a theoretical justification, discussing both independent and identically distributed as well as time series data, respectively, and illustrate the potential of the method in a challenging astronomy application. PMID:27382154

  4. Effect Modification and Interaction Terms: It Takes Two to Tango.

    PubMed

    Jupiter, Daniel C

    2016-01-01

    In this Investigators' Corner I look more deeply into the previously discussed phenomenon of effect modification. I revisit an explanation and examples of the phenomenon and then examine how to account for it statistically. Specifically, I show, in detail, how to write a regression equation that includes interaction terms that account for the effect modification. Finally, I look at interpretation of regression coefficients both with and without the presence of effect modification, and the associated interaction terms. PMID:27320193

  5. Effect of site-specific modification on restriction endonucleases and DNA modification methyltransferases.

    PubMed Central

    McClelland, M; Nelson, M; Raschke, E

    1994-01-01

    Restriction endonucleases have site-specific interactions with DNA that can often be inhibited by site-specific DNA methylation and other site-specific DNA modifications. However, such inhibition cannot generally be predicted. The empirically acquired data on these effects are tabulated for over 320 restriction endonucleases. In addition, a table of known site-specific DNA modification methyltransferases and their specificities is presented along with EMBL database accession numbers for cloned genes. PMID:7937074

  6. Xanthan gel system effective for profile modification

    SciTech Connect

    Burkholder, L.

    1985-04-15

    To cope with the problem of optimizing reservoir sweep efficiency, many companies today are utilizing a technique known as profile modification. This technique is based on the premise that a gelled polymer formulation can be injected into the reservoir some distance beyond the well bore where it creates a flow diversion. The successful application of profile modification techniques has resulted in significant increases in incremental oil recovery. The injectant is a xanthan-gum solution precross-linked with a chromium complex to form a gel. The polymer/chromium combination reduces permeability in the thief zones and diverts a higher percentage of the displacing fluids into previously unswept, oil-saturated portions of the reservoir. Although reservoir characteristics and brine composition are key considerations, xanthan/chrome gels can be tailored to meet almost any conditions. Fractures will require strong gels while tight formations, or formations with low parting pressures, will require thinner gels. Slug volume is designed to treat the ''thief'' interval and must be carefully sized to improve sweep efficiency within economical limits.

  7. The ACCE method: an approach for obtaining quantitative or qualitative estimates of residual confounding that includes unmeasured confounding

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Eric G.

    2015-01-01

    Background:  Nonrandomized studies typically cannot account for confounding from unmeasured factors.  Method:  A method is presented that exploits the recently-identified phenomenon of  “confounding amplification” to produce, in principle, a quantitative estimate of total residual confounding resulting from both measured and unmeasured factors.  Two nested propensity score models are constructed that differ only in the deliberate introduction of an additional variable(s) that substantially predicts treatment exposure.  Residual confounding is then estimated by dividing the change in treatment effect estimate between models by the degree of confounding amplification estimated to occur, adjusting for any association between the additional variable(s) and outcome. Results:  Several hypothetical examples are provided to illustrate how the method produces a quantitative estimate of residual confounding if the method’s requirements and assumptions are met.  Previously published data is used to illustrate that, whether or not the method routinely provides precise quantitative estimates of residual confounding, the method appears to produce a valuable qualitative estimate of the likely direction and general size of residual confounding. Limitations:  Uncertainties exist, including identifying the best approaches for: 1) predicting the amount of confounding amplification, 2) minimizing changes between the nested models unrelated to confounding amplification, 3) adjusting for the association of the introduced variable(s) with outcome, and 4) deriving confidence intervals for the method’s estimates (although bootstrapping is one plausible approach). Conclusions:  To this author’s knowledge, it has not been previously suggested that the phenomenon of confounding amplification, if such amplification is as predictable as suggested by a recent simulation, provides a logical basis for estimating total residual confounding. The method's basic approach is

  8. The effect of ageing on fMRI: Correction for the confounding effects of vascular reactivity evaluated by joint fMRI and MEG in 335 adults

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Richard N. A.; Tyler, Lorraine K.; Davis, Simon W.; Shafto, Meredith A.; Taylor, Jason R.; Williams, Nitin; Cam‐CAN; Rowe, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research one is typically interested in neural activity. However, the blood‐oxygenation level‐dependent (BOLD) signal is a composite of both neural and vascular activity. As factors such as age or medication may alter vascular function, it is essential to account for changes in neurovascular coupling when investigating neurocognitive functioning with fMRI. The resting‐state fluctuation amplitude (RSFA) in the fMRI signal (rsfMRI) has been proposed as an index of vascular reactivity. The RSFA compares favourably with other techniques such as breath‐hold and hypercapnia, but the latter are more difficult to perform in some populations, such as older adults. The RSFA is therefore a candidate for use in adjusting for age‐related changes in vascular reactivity in fMRI studies. The use of RSFA is predicated on its sensitivity to vascular rather than neural factors; however, the extent to which each of these factors contributes to RSFA remains to be characterized. The present work addressed these issues by comparing RSFA (i.e., rsfMRI variability) to proxy measures of (i) cardiovascular function in terms of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) and (ii) neural activity in terms of resting state magnetoencephalography (rsMEG). We derived summary scores of RSFA, a sensorimotor task BOLD activation, cardiovascular function and rsMEG variability for 335 healthy older adults in the population‐based Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience cohort (Cam‐CAN; www.cam-can.com). Mediation analysis revealed that the effects of ageing on RSFA were significantly mediated by vascular factors, but importantly not by the variability in neuronal activity. Furthermore, the converse effects of ageing on the rsMEG variability were not mediated by vascular factors. We then examined the effect of RSFA scaling of task‐based BOLD in the sensorimotor task. The scaling analysis revealed that much of the effects

  9. Radical cystectomy versus bladder preserving therapy for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma: examining confounding and misclassification bias in cancer observational comparative effectiveness research

    PubMed Central

    Bekelman, Justin E.; Handorf, Elizabeth A.; Guzzo, Thomas; Pollack, Craig Evan; Christodouleas, John; Resnick, Matthew J.; Swisher-McClure, Samuel; Vaughn, David; Have, Thomas Ten; Polsky, Daniel; Mitra, Nandita

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Radical cystectomy (RC) is the standard treatment for muscle-invasive Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). Tri-modality bladder preserving therapy (BPT) is an alternative to RC, but randomized comparisons of RC versus BPT have proven infeasible. To compare RC versus BPT, we undertook an observational cohort study using registry and administrative claims data from the SEER-Medicare database. Methods We identified patients age 65 years or older diagnosed between 1995 and 2005 who received RC (n=1,426) or BPT (n=417). We examined confounding and stage misclassification in the comparison of RC and BPT using multivariable adjustment, propensity score-based adjustment, instrumental variable (IV) analysis and simulations. Results Patients who received BPT were older and more likely to have comorbid disease. After propensity score adjustment, BPT was associated with an increased hazard of death from any cause (HR 1.26; 95% CI, 1.05 – 1.53) and from bladder cancer (HR 1.31; 95% CI, 0.97 – 1.77). Using the local area cystectomy rate as an instrument, IV analysis demonstrated no differences in survival between BPT and RC (death from any cause HR 1.06; 95% CI, 0.78 – 1.31; death from bladder cancer HR 0.94; 95% CI, 0.55 – 1.18). Simulation studies for stage misclassification yielded results consistent with the IV analysis. Conclusions Survival estimates in an observational cohort of patients who underwent RC versus BPT differ by analytic method. Multivariable and propensity score adjustment revealed greater mortality associated with BPT relative to RC, while IV analysis and simulation studies suggest that the two treatments are associated with similar survival outcomes. PMID:23796296

  10. Disparity modifications and the emotional effects of stereoscopic images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawai, Takashi; Atsuta, Daiki; Tomiyama, Yuya; Kim, Sanghyun; Morikawa, Hiroyuki; Mitsuya, Reiko; Häkkinen, Jukka

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a study that focuses on disparity changes in emotional scenes of stereoscopic (3D) images, in which an examination of the effects on pleasant and arousal was carried out by adding binocular disparity to 2D images that evoke specific emotions, and applying disparity modification based on the disparity analysis of famous 3D movies. From the results of the experiment, for pleasant, a significant difference was found only for the main effect of the emotions. On the other hand, for arousal, there was a trend of increasing the evaluation values in the order 2D condition, 3D condition and 3D condition applied the disparity modification for happiness, surprise, and fear. This suggests the possibility that binocular disparity and the modification affect arousal.

  11. Protective effects in radiation modification of elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Głuszewski, Wojciech; Zagórski, Zbigniew P.; Rajkiewicz, Maria

    2014-12-01

    Saturated character of ethylene/octene thermoplastic elastomers demands an application of nonconventional methods of crosslinking connections between chains of molecules. These are organic peroxides, usually in the presence of coagents or an application of ionizing radiation. Several approaches (radiation, peroxide, peroxide/plus radiation and radiation/plus peroxide) were applied in crosslinking of elastomere Engage 8200. Attention was directed to the protection effects by aromatic peroxides and by photo- and thermostabilizers on radiolysis of elastomers. Role of dose of radiation, dose rate of radiation as well as the role of composition of elastomere on the radiation yield of hydrogen and absorbtion of oxygen was investigated. DRS method was used to follow postirradiation degradation. Influence of crosslinking methods on properties of elastomers is described. Results were interpreted from the point of view of protective actions of aromatic compounds.

  12. Effective Remediation of Reading Skills Using Behavior Modification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rupley, William H.

    This study investigated the effectiveness of behavior modification techniques used in a 16-week summer remedial reading program for primary-level students. Ten elementary teachers enrolled in an introductory graduate course in diagnostic and remedial reading received eight hours of training in the use of behavior management techniques:…

  13. Methodological problems with population cancer studies: The forgotten confounding factors

    PubMed Central

    Blaylock, Russell L.

    2015-01-01

    Among clinical physicians it is the population study that is considered to be the “gold standard” of medical evidence concerning acceptable treatments. As new information comes to light concerning the many variables and confounding factors that can affect such studies, many older studies lose much of their original impact. While newer population studies take into consideration a far greater number of confounding factors many are still omitted and a number of these omitted factors can have profound effects on interpretation and validity of the study. In this editorial, I will discuss some of the omitted confounding factors and demonstrate how they can alter the interpretation of these papers and their clinical application. PMID:26097772

  14. Effects of aluminium surface morphology and chemical modification on wettability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahimi, M.; Fojan, P.; Gurevich, L.; Afshari, A.

    2014-03-01

    Aluminium alloys are some of the predominant metals in industrial applications such as production of heat exchangers, heat pumps. They have high heat conductivity coupled with a low specific weight. In cold working conditions, there is a risk of frost formation on the surface of aluminium in the presence of water vapour, which can lead to the deterioration of equipment performance. This work addresses the methods of surface modification of aluminium and their effect of the underlying surface morphology and wettability, which are the important parameters for frost formation. Three groups of real-life aluminium surfaces of different morphology: unpolished aluminium, polished aluminium, and aluminium foil, were subjected to surface modification procedures which involved the formation of a layer of hydrophilic hyperbranched polyethyleneglycol via in situ polymerization, molecular vapour deposition of a monolayer of fluorinated silane, and a combination of those. The effect of these surface modification techniques on roughness and wettability of the aluminium surfaces was elucidated by ellipsometry, contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy. We demonstrated that by employing different types of surface modifications the contact angle of water droplets on aluminium samples can be varied from 12° to more than 120°. A crossover from Cassie-Baxter to Wenzel regime upon changing the surface roughness was also observed.

  15. The fallacy of Ratio Correction to address confounding factors

    PubMed Central

    Karp, Natasha A; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Gerdin, Anna-Karin B; Ramírez-Solis, Ramiro; White, Jacqueline K

    2014-01-01

    Scientists aspire to measure cause and effect. Unfortunately confounding variables, ones that are associated with both the probable cause and the outcome, can lead to an association that is true but potentially misleading. For example, altered body weight is often observed in a gene knockout, however many other variables, such as lean mass, will also change as the body weight changes. This leaves the researcher asking whether the change in that variable is expected for that change in weight. Ratio Correction, which is often referred to as Normalization, is a method used commonly to remove the effect of a confounding variable. Although Ratio Correction is used widely in biological research, it is not the method recommended in the statistical literature to address confounding factors; instead regression methods such as the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) are proposed. This method examines the difference in means after adjusting for the confounding relationship. Using real data, this manuscript demonstrates how the Ratio Correction approach is flawed and can result in erroneous calls of significance leading to inappropriate biological conclusions. This arises as some of the underlying assumptions are not met. The manuscript goes on to demonstrate that researchers should use ANCOVA, and discusses how graphical tools can be used readily to judge the robustness of this method. This study is therefore a clear example of why assumption testing is an important component of a study and thus why it is included in the Animal Research: reporting of In Vivo Experiment (ARRIVE) guidelines. PMID:22829707

  16. The importance of confounding in observational before-and-after studies of road safety measures.

    PubMed

    Elvik, Rune

    2002-09-01

    This paper discusses the importance of confounding in observational before-and-after studies of road safety measures. The importance of the approach taken to controlling for confounding factors is shown by means of examples. It is shown that the size of the effect on accidents attributed to a road safety measure can be profoundly affected by which confounding factors are controlled for in an evaluation study, and the way this is done. Simple before-and-after studies, not controlling for any confounding factors should never be trusted and are likely to overstate the effects of road safety measures. PMID:12214957

  17. Estimation of Indirect Effects in the Presence of Unmeasured Confounding for the Mediator-Outcome Relationship in a Multilevel 2-1-1 Mediation Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talloen, Wouter; Moerkerke, Beatrijs; Loeys, Tom; De Naeghel, Jessie; Van Keer, Hilde; Vansteelandt, Stijn

    2016-01-01

    To assess the direct and indirect effect of an intervention, multilevel 2-1-1 studies with intervention randomized at the upper (class) level and mediator and outcome measured at the lower (student) level are frequently used in educational research. In such studies, the mediation process may flow through the student-level mediator (the within…

  18. Motivated attention: Incentive effects on attentional modification of prepulse inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Ashare, Rebecca L.; Hawk, Larry W.; Mazzullo, Rebecca J.

    2008-01-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle is greater for attended compared to ignored prestimuli, and, consistent with theories of motivated attention, initial evidence suggests that this effect is greater among participants given performance-based incentives. The present study examined a within-subjects incentive manipulation. Participants (n = 41) completed two blocks of a tone discrimination task. During the incentive block, participants received trialwise feedback with small monetary incentives for task performance. Startle eyeblink EMG responses to auditory probes were assessed at 60-, 120-, and 180-ms tone-probe stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). As predicted, PPI was enhanced during attended compared to ignored prestimuli only at the 120-ms SOA in the incentive condition. There was no evidence of attentional modification in the no-incentive condition. These data suggest that attentional modification of PPI is sensitive to within-subjects manipulations of incentive, providing a useful tool for testing models of motivated attention in psychopathology and psychopharmacology. PMID:17640265

  19. Ultrafast transient absorption spectrum of the room temperature Ionic liquid 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide: Confounding effects of photo-degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musat, Raluca M.; Crowell, Robert A.; Polyanskiy, Dmitriy E.; Thomas, Marie F.; Wishart, James F.; Katsumura, Yosuke; Takahashi, Kenji

    2015-12-01

    The photochemistry of the charge transfer (CT) band of the room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (HMIm+/Br-) is investigated using near-IR to vis ultrafast transient absorption (TA) and steady-state UV absorption spectroscopies. Continuous irradiation of the CT band at 266 nm results in the formation of photo-products that absorb strongly at 266 nm. It is shown that these photo-products, which are apparently very stable, adversely affect ultrafast TA measurements. Elimination of these effects reveals at least two transient species that exist within the TA detection window of 100 fs to 3 ns and 500-1250 nm. One of the components is a short-lived (<1 ps) species that absorbs at 1080 nm. The second band exhibits a multicomponent spectrum that is very broad with an absorption maximum around 600 nm and a lifetime that is longer than the 3 ns window of our TA spectrometer. Within the signal to noise ratio of the TA spectrometer little to no solvated electron is generated by the CT mechanism.

  20. Depression and termination of pregnancy (induced abortion) in a national cohort of young Australian women: the confounding effect of women's experience of violence

    PubMed Central

    Taft, Angela J; Watson, Lyndsey F

    2008-01-01

    .65). Linear regression showed a four fold greater effect of violence than termination or births. Conclusion Violence, especially partner violence, makes a significantly greater contribution to women's depression compared with pregnancy termination or births. Any strategy to reduce the burden of women's depression should include prevention or reduction of violence against women and strengthening women's sexual and reproductive health to ensure that pregnancies are planned and wanted. PMID:18302736

  1. Accuracy and the Effect of Possible Subject-Based Confounders of Magnitude-Based MRI for Estimating Hepatic Proton Density Fat Fraction in Adults, Using MR Spectroscopy as Reference

    PubMed Central

    Heba, Elhamy R.; Desai, Ajinkya; Zand, Kevin A.; Hamilton, Gavin; Wolfson, Tanya; Schlein, Alexandra N.; Gamst, Anthony; Loomba, Rohit; Sirlin, Claude B.; Middleton, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine the accuracy and the effect of possible subject-based confounders of magnitude-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for estimating hepatic proton density fat fraction (PDFF) for different numbers of echoes in adults with known or suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, using MR spectroscopy (MRS) as a reference. Materials and Methods In this retrospective analysis of 506 adults, hepatic PDFF was estimated by unenhanced 3.0T MRI, using right-lobe MRS as reference. Regions of interest placed on source images and on six-echo parametric PDFF maps were colocalized to MRS voxel location. Accuracy using different numbers of echoes was assessed by regression and Bland–Altman analysis; slope, intercept, average bias, and R2 were calculated. The effect of age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) on hepatic PDFF accuracy was investigated using multivariate linear regression analyses. Results MRI closely agreed with MRS for all tested methods. For three- to six-echo methods, slope, regression intercept, average bias, and R2 were 1.01–0.99, 0.11–0.62%, 0.24–0.56%, and 0.981–0.982, respectively. Slope was closest to unity for the five-echo method. The two-echo method was least accurate, underestimating PDFF by an average of 2.93%, compared to an average of 0.23–0.69% for the other methods. Statistically significant but clinically nonmeaningful effects on PDFF error were found for subject BMI (P range: 0.0016 to 0.0783), male sex (P range: 0.015 to 0.037), and no statistically significant effect was found for subject age (P range: 0.18–0.24). Conclusion Hepatic magnitude-based MRI PDFF estimates using three, four, five, and six echoes, and six-echo parametric maps are accurate compared to reference MRS values, and that accuracy is not meaningfully confounded by age, sex, or BMI. PMID:26201284

  2. A flexible, interpretable framework for assessing sensitivity to unmeasured confounding.

    PubMed

    Dorie, Vincent; Harada, Masataka; Carnegie, Nicole Bohme; Hill, Jennifer

    2016-09-10

    When estimating causal effects, unmeasured confounding and model misspecification are both potential sources of bias. We propose a method to simultaneously address both issues in the form of a semi-parametric sensitivity analysis. In particular, our approach incorporates Bayesian Additive Regression Trees into a two-parameter sensitivity analysis strategy that assesses sensitivity of posterior distributions of treatment effects to choices of sensitivity parameters. This results in an easily interpretable framework for testing for the impact of an unmeasured confounder that also limits the number of modeling assumptions. We evaluate our approach in a large-scale simulation setting and with high blood pressure data taken from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The model is implemented as open-source software, integrated into the treatSens package for the R statistical programming language. © 2016 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:27139250

  3. Structural confounding of area-level deprivation and segreation: an empirical example

    EPA Science Inventory

    The neighborhood effects literature has grown, but its utility is limited by the lack of attention paid to non-random selection into neighborhoods. Confounding occurs when an exposure and an outcome share an underlying common cause. Confounding resulting from differential allocat...

  4. Resting-state FMRI confounds and cleanup

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Kevin; Birn, Rasmus M.; Bandettini, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is to investigate the brain’s functional connections by using the temporal similarity between blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals in different regions of the brain “at rest” as an indicator of synchronous neural activity. Since this measure relies on the temporal correlation of FMRI signal changes between different parts of the brain, any non-neural activity-related process that affects the signals will influence the measure of functional connectivity, yielding spurious results. To understand the sources of these resting-state FMRI confounds, this article describes the origins of the BOLD signal in terms of MR physics and cerebral physiology. Potential confounds arising from motion, cardiac and respiratory cycles, arterial CO2 concentration, blood pressure/cerebral autoregulation, and vasomotion are discussed. Two classes of techniques to remove confounds from resting-state BOLD time series are reviewed: 1) those utilising external recordings of physiology and 2) data-based cleanup methods that only use the resting-state FMRI data itself. Further methods that remove noise from functional connectivity measures at a group level are also discussed. For successful interpretation of resting-state FMRI comparisons and results, noise cleanup is an often over-looked but essential step in the analysis pipeline. PMID:23571418

  5. Air pollutants and health outcomes: Assessment of confounding by influenza

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thach, Thuan-Quoc; Wong, Chit-Ming; Chan, King-Pan; Chau, Yuen-Kwan; Neil Thomas, G.; Ou, Chun-Quan; Yang, Lin; Peiris, Joseph S. M.; Lam, Tai-Hing; Hedley, Anthony J.

    2010-04-01

    We assessed confounding of associations between short-term effects of air pollution and health outcomes by influenza using Hong Kong mortality and hospitalization data for 1996-2002. Three measures of influenza were defined: (i) intensity: weekly proportion of positive influenza viruses, (ii) epidemic: weekly number of positive influenza viruses ≥4% of the annual number for ≥2 consecutive weeks, and (iii) predominance: an epidemic period with co-circulation of respiratory syncytial virus <2% of the annual positive isolates for ≥2 consecutive weeks. We examined effects of influenza on associations between nitrogen dioxide (NO 2), sulfur dioxide (SO 2), particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM 10) and ozone (O 3) and health outcomes including all natural causes mortality, cardiorespiratory mortality and hospitalization. Generalized additive Poisson regression model with natural cubic splines was fitted to control for time-varying covariates to estimate air pollution health effects. Confounding with influenza was assessed using an absolute difference of >0.1% between unadjusted and adjusted excess risks (ER%). Without adjustment, pollutants were associated with positive ER% for all health outcomes except asthma and stroke hospitalization with SO 2 and stroke hospitalization with O 3. Following adjustment, changes in ER% for all pollutants were <0.1% for all natural causes mortality, but >0.1% for mortality from stroke with NO 2 and SO 2, cardiac or heart disease with NO 2, PM 10 and O 3, lower respiratory infections with NO 2 and O 3 and mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with all pollutants. Changes >0.1% were seen for acute respiratory disease hospitalization with NO 2, SO 2 and O 3 and acute lower respiratory infections hospitalization with PM 10. Generally, influenza does not confound the observed associations of air pollutants with all natural causes mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, but for some pollutants

  6. Ecological Effects of Weather Modification: A Problem Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Charles F.; Jolly, William C.

    This publication reviews the potential hazards to the environment of weather modification techniques as they eventually become capable of producing large scale weather pattern modifications. Such weather modifications could result in ecological changes which would generally require several years to be fully evident, including the alteration of…

  7. Modifications to ideal stability by kinetic effects in NSTX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkery, J. W.; Sabbagh, S. A.; Bell, R. E.; Gerhardt, S. P.; LeBlanc, B. P.; Menard, J. E.

    2015-11-01

    Marginal stability points of global modes during high plasma pressure operation in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) device can be found by computing kinetic modifications to ideal magnetohydrodynamic limits on stability. Calculations with the DCON code for nearly five thousand experimental equilibria show that previous estimates of the no-wall limit (below which the ideal kink/ballooning mode would be stable even without conducting structure surrounding the plasma) on the plasma beta (a ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure) and internal inductance (a measure of the current profile peakedness) were relatively accurate, though about 10% low. The no-wall beta limit also decreased with increasing aspect ratio and increasing broadness of the pressure profile, and these dependencies have implications for the upgrade to NSTX which has a larger aspect ratio and new neutral beams that may increase the broadness of pressure and current profiles. Kinetic modifications to ideal limits calculated with the Modifications to Ideal Stability by Kinetic effects (MISK) code are further validated by detailed comparison with experimental results from NSTX. In several discharges the code predicts a transition from damping of the mode to growth as the time approaches the experimental time of marginal stability to the resistive wall mode (RWM). The main stabilization mechanism is through rotational resonances with the motions of thermal particles in the plasma, though energetic particles also contribute to stability, and it is often when the plasma rotation falls in between these resonances that the RWM was destabilized in NSTX. The calculations are found to be slightly affected by changing the assumed magnetic structure of the mode as well. These validations are important for real-time assessment of stability limits for disruption avoidance, and reliable projections of the stability of future devices.

  8. Systematically missing confounders in individual participant data meta-analysis of observational cohort studies.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Dan; White, Ian; Kostis, J B; Wilson, A C; Folsom, A R; Wu, K; Chambless, L; Benderly, M; Goldbourt, U; Willeit, J; Kiechl, S; Yarnell, J W G; Sweetnam, P M; Elwood, P C; Cushman, M; Psaty, B M; Tracy, R P; Tybjaerg-Hansen, A; Haverkate, F; de Maat, M P M; Thompson, S G; Fowkes, F G R; Lee, A J; Smith, F B; Salomaa, V; Harald, K; Rasi, V; Vahtera, E; Jousilahti, P; D'Agostino, R; Kannel, W B; Wilson, P W F; Tofler, G; Levy, D; Marchioli, R; Valagussa, F; Rosengren, A; Wilhelmsen, L; Lappas, G; Eriksson, H; Cremer, P; Nagel, D; Curb, J D; Rodriguez, B; Yano, K; Salonen, J T; Nyyssönen, K; Tuomainen, T-P; Hedblad, B; Engström, G; Berglund, G; Loewel, H; Koenig, W; Hense, H W; Meade, T W; Cooper, J A; De Stavola, B; Knottenbelt, C; Miller, G J; Cooper, J A; Bauer, K A; Rosenberg, R D; Sato, S; Kitamura, A; Naito, Y; Iso, H; Salomaa, V; Harald, K; Rasi, V; Vahtera, E; Jousilahti, P; Palosuo, T; Ducimetiere, P; Amouyel, P; Arveiler, D; Evans, A E; Ferrieres, J; Juhan-Vague, I; Bingham, A; Schulte, H; Assmann, G; Cantin, B; Lamarche, B; Despres, J-P; Dagenais, G R; Tunstall-Pedoe, H; Lowe, G D O; Woodward, M; Ben-Shlomo, Y; Davey Smith, G; Palmieri, V; Yeh, J L; Meade, T W; Rudnicka, A; Brennan, P; Knottenbelt, C; Cooper, J A; Ridker, P; Rodeghiero, F; Tosetto, A; Shepherd, J; Lowe, G D O; Ford, I; Robertson, M; Brunner, E; Shipley, M; Feskens, E J M; Di Angelantonio, E; Kaptoge, S; Lewington, S; Lowe, G D O; Sarwar, N; Thompson, S G; Walker, M; Watson, S; White, I R; Wood, A M; Danesh, J

    2009-04-15

    One difficulty in performing meta-analyses of observational cohort studies is that the availability of confounders may vary between cohorts, so that some cohorts provide fully adjusted analyses while others only provide partially adjusted analyses. Commonly, analyses of the association between an exposure and disease either are restricted to cohorts with full confounder information, or use all cohorts but do not fully adjust for confounding. We propose using a bivariate random-effects meta-analysis model to use information from all available cohorts while still adjusting for all the potential confounders. Our method uses both the fully adjusted and the partially adjusted estimated effects in the cohorts with full confounder information, together with an estimate of their within-cohort correlation. The method is applied to estimate the association between fibrinogen level and coronary heart disease incidence using data from 154,012 participants in 31 cohorts PMID:19222087

  9. Modifications of the Schwarzschild null geodesics in effective field theories

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmadi, N.

    2009-12-15

    In this paper the dynamics of Schwarzschild null geodesics in the context of low-energy effective field theories incorporating some interactions violating the equivalence principle is examined. Nonperturbed geodesics are expressed in terms of a convenient set of constants called orbital elements. The modifications introduced by the effective interactions are treated as small perturbations, then the method of variation of parameters is employed to find the evolution of the orbital elements for the true worldlines. We next focus our discussion on the geometry of nondispersive photon orbits and highlight the importance of different orbital elements in long-term change of the orbit. This calculation shows that nondispersive forces acting on null geodesics drive a secular growth of the positional elements. As an application of our results we examine the evolution of mean orbital elements in the semiclassical theory of quantum gravitational optics and show that the averaged correction terms are within the range of the uncertainty principle.

  10. Effect of thermal modification on rheological properties of polyethylene blends

    SciTech Connect

    Siriprumpoonthum, Monchai; Nobukawa, Shogo; Yamaguchi, Masayuki; Satoh, Yasuo; Sasaki, Hiroko

    2014-03-15

    We examined the effects of thermal modification under flow field on the rheological properties of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) with high molecular weight, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and their blends, without thermal stabilizer. Although structural changes during processing are not detected by size extrusion chromatography or nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, linear viscoelastic properties changed greatly, especially for the LLDPE. A cross-linking reaction took place, leading to, presumably, star-shaped long-chain branches. Consequently, the modified LLDPE, having high zero-shear viscosity, became a thermorheologically complex melt. Moreover, it should be noted that the drawdown force, defined as the uniaxial elongational force at a constant draw ratio, was significantly enhanced for the blends. Enhancement of elongational viscosity was also detected. The drawdown force and elongational viscosity are marked for the thermally modified blend as compared with those for the blend of thermally modified pure components. Intermolecular cross-linking reactions between LDPE and LLDPE, yielding polymers with more than two branch points per chain, result in marked strain-hardening in the elongational viscosity behavior even at small strain. The recovery curve of the oscillatory modulus after the shear modification is further evidence of a branched structure.

  11. Effects of lifestyle modification programs on cardiac risk factors.

    PubMed

    Razavi, Moaven; Fournier, Stephen; Shepard, Donald S; Ritter, Grant; Strickler, Gail K; Stason, William B

    2014-01-01

    Medicare conducted a payment demonstration to evaluate the effectiveness of two intensive lifestyle modification programs in patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease: the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease (Ornish) and Cardiac Wellness Program of the Benson-Henry Mind Body Institute. This report describes the changes in cardiac risk factors achieved by each program during the active intervention year and subsequent year of follow-up. The demonstration enrolled 580 participants who had had an acute myocardial infarction, had undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention within 12 months, or had documented stable angina pectoris. Of these, 98% completed the intense 3-month intervention, 71% the 12-month intervention, and 56% an additional follow-up year. Most cardiac risk factors improved significantly during the intense intervention period in both programs. Favorable changes in cardiac risk factors and functional cardiac capacity were maintained or improved further at 12 and 24 months in participants with active follow-up. Multivariable regressions found that risk-factor improvements were positively associated with abnormal baseline values, Ornish program participation for body mass index and systolic blood pressure, and with coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Expressed levels of motivation to lose weight and maintain weight loss were significant independent predictors of sustained weight loss (p = 0.006). Both lifestyle modification programs achieved well-sustained reductions in cardiac risk factors. PMID:25490202

  12. [Bias and confounding: pharmacoepidemiological study using administrative database].

    PubMed

    Nojiri, Shuko

    2015-01-01

    The provision of health care frequently creates digitalized data such as hospital-based electronic data, medication prescription records, and claims data collectively termed "administrative database research". The data source and analytical opportunities for study create risks that can lead to misinterpretation or bias the results. This review serves as an introduction to the concept of bias and confounding to help researchers conduct methodologically sound pharmacoepidemiologic research projects using administrative databases. Beyond general considerations for observational study, there are several unique issues related to database research that should be addressed. The risks of uninterpretable or biased results can be minimized by: providing a robust description of the data tables used; focusing on why and how they were created; measuring and reporting the accuracy of diagnostic and procedural codes used; and properly accounting for any time-dependent nature of variables. The hallmark of good research is rigorously careful analysis and interpretation. The promise for value of real world evidence using databases in medical decision making must be balanced against concerns related to observational inherited limitations for bias and confounding. Researchers should aim to avoid bias in the design of a study, adjust for confounding, and discuss the effects of residual bias on the results. PMID:26028416

  13. PM2.5 and survival among older adults: Effect modification by particulate composition

    PubMed Central

    Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Austin, Elena; Koutrakis, Petros; Dominici, Francesca; Schwartz, Joel; Zanobetti, Antonella

    2015-01-01

    Background Fine particulate (PM2.5) air pollution has been consistently linked to survival, but reported effect estimates are geographically heterogeneous. Exposure to different types of particle mixtures may explain some of this variation. Methods We used k-means cluster analyses to identify cities with similar pollution profiles, (i.e. PM2.5 composition) across the US. We examined the impact of PM2.5 on survival, and its variation across clusters of cities with similar PM2.5 composition, among Medicare enrollees in 81 US cities (2000–2010). We used time-varying annual PM2.5 averages, measured at ambient central monitoring sites, as the exposure of interest. We ran by-city Cox models, adjusting for individual data on previous cardiopulmonary-related hospitalizations and stratifying by follow-up time, age, gender and race. This eliminates confounding by factors varying across cities and long-term trends, focusing on year-to-year variations of air pollution around its city-specific mean and trend. We then pooled the city-specific effects using a random effects meta-regression. In this second stage, we also assessed effect modification by cluster membership and estimated cluster-specific PM2.5 effects. Results We followed more than 19 million subjects and observed more than 6 million deaths. We found a harmful impact of annual PM2.5 concentrations on survival (HR = 1.11 [95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.23] per 10 µg/m3). This effect was modified by particulate composition, with higher effects observed in clusters containing high concentrations of nickel, vanadium and sulfate. For instance, our highest effect estimate was observed in cities with harbors in the Northwest, characterized by high nickel, vanadium and elemental carbon concentrations (1.9 [1.1–3.3]). We observed null or negative associations in clusters with high oceanic and crustal particles. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between PM2.5 composition

  14. Ceramic modifications of porous titanium: effects on macrophage activation.

    PubMed

    Scislowska-Czarnecka, A; Menaszek, E; Szaraniec, B; Kolaczkowska, E

    2012-12-01

    Porous titanium is one of the most widely used implant materials because of its mechanical properties, however, it is also characterised by low bioactivity. To improve the above parameter we prepared three modifications of the porous (30 wt%) titanium (Ti) surface by covering it with bioactive hydroxyapatite (HA), bioglass (BG) and calcium silicate (CS). Subsequently we tested the impact of the modifications on macrophages directing the inflammatory response that might compromise the implant bioactivity. In the study we investigated the in vitro effects of the materials on murine cell line RAW 264.7 macrophage adherence, morphology and activation (production/release of metalloproteinase MMP-9 and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines). CS Ti decreased the macrophage adherence and up-regulated the release of several pro-inflammatory mediators, including TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12. Also HA Ti reduced the cell adherence but other parameters were generally not increased, except of TNF-α. In contrast, BG Ti improved macrophage adherence and either decreased production of multiple mediators (MMP-9, TNF-α, IFN-γ, MCP-1) or did not change it in comparison to the porous titanium. We can conclude that analyzing the effects on the inflammatory response initiated by macrophages in vitro, calcium silicate did not improve the biological properties of the porous titanium. The improved bioactivity of titanium was, however, achieved by the application of the hydroxyapatite and bioglass layers. The present in vitro results suggest that these materials, HA Ti and especially BG Ti, may be suitable for in vivo application and thus justify their further investigation. PMID:22939219

  15. Effect of chemical modifications on allergenic potency of peanut proteins

    PubMed Central

    Bencharitiwong, Ramon; van der Kleij, Hanneke P.M.; Koppelman, Stef J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Modification of native peanut extracts could reduce adverse effects of peanut immunotherapy. Objective: We sought to compare native and chemically modified crude peanut extract (CPE) and major peanut allergens Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 in a mediator-release assay based on the rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cell line transfected with human Fcε receptor. Methods: Native Ara h 2/6 was reduced and alkylated (RA), with or without additional glutaraldehyde treatment (RAGA). CPE was reduced and alkylated. Sera of subjects with peanut allergy (16 males; median age 7 years) were used for overnight RBL-passive sensitization. Cells were stimulated with 0.1 pg/mL to 10 μg/mL of peanut. β-N-acetylhexosaminidase release (NHR) was used as a marker of RBL degranulation, expressed as a percentage of total degranulation caused by Triton X. Results: Median peanut-specific immunoglobulin E was 233 kUA/L. Nineteen subjects were responders, NHR ≥ 10% in the mediator release assay. Responders had reduced NHR by RA and RAGA compared with the native Ara h 2/6. Modification resulted in a later onset of activation by 10- to 100-fold in concentration and a lowering of the maximum release. Modified RA-Ara h 2/6 and RAGA-Ara h 2/6 caused significantly lower maximum mediator release than native Ara h 2/6, at protein concentrations 0.1, 1, and 10 ng/mL (p < 0.001, < 0.001, and < 0.001, respectively, for RA; and < 0.001, 0.026, and 0.041, respectively, for RAGA). RA-CPE caused significantly lower maximum NHR than native CPE, at protein concentration 1 ng/mL (p < 0.001) and 10 ng/mL (p < 0.002). Responders had high rAra h 2 immunoglobulin E (mean, 61.1 kUA/L; p < 0.001) and higher NHR in mediator release assay to native Ara h 2/6 than CPE, which indicates that Ara h 2/6 were the most relevant peanut allergens in these responders. Conclusions: Chemical modification of purified native Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 reduced mediator release in an in vitro assay ∼100-fold, which indicates decreased

  16. Ground cloud related weather modification effects. [heavy lift launch vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, J.

    1980-01-01

    The principal concerns about inadvertent weather modification by the solar power satellite system rocket effluents are discussed, namely the possibility that the ground cloud might temporarily modify local weather and the cumulative effects of nearly 500 launches per year. These issues are discussed through the consideration of (1) the possible alteration of the microphysical processes of clouds in the general area due to rocket effluents and debris and cooling water entrained during the launch and (2) the direct dynamical and thermodynamical responses to the inputs of thermal energy and moisture from the rocket exhaust for given ambient meteorological conditions. The huge amount of thermal energy contained in the exhaust of the proposed launch vehicle would in some situations induce a saturated, wet convective cloud or enhance an existing convective activity. Nevertheless, the effects would be limited to the general area of the launch site. The observed long lasting high concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei produced during and after a rocket launch may appreciably affect the frequency of occurrence and persistence of fogs and haze. In view of the high mission frequency proposed for the vehicle launches, a potential exists for a cumulative effect.

  17. Stability studies of plasma modification effects of polylactide and polycaprolactone surface layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraczewski, Krzysztof; Stepczyńska, Magdalena; Malinowski, Rafał; Rytlewski, Piotr; Jagodziński, Bartłomiej; Żenkiewicz, Marian

    2016-07-01

    The article presents results of research on the stability of oxygen plasma modification effects of polylactide and polycaprolactone surface layers. The modified samples were aged for three, six or nine weeks. The studies were carried out using scanning electron microscopy, goniometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Studies have shown that the plasma modification has significant impact on the geometric structure and chemical composition of the surface, wettability and surface energy of tested polymers. The modification effects are not permanent. It has been observed that over time the effects of plasma modification fade. Studies have shown that modifying effect lasts longer in the case of polycaprolactone.

  18. Confounded by sequencing depth in association studies of rare alleles.

    PubMed

    Garner, Chad

    2011-05-01

    Next-generation DNA sequencing technologies are facilitating large-scale association studies of rare genetic variants. The depth of the sequence read coverage is an important experimental variable in the next-generation technologies and it is a major determinant of the quality of genotype calls generated from sequence data. When case and control samples are sequenced separately or in different proportions across batches, they are unlikely to be matched on sequencing read depth and a differential misclassification of genotypes can result, causing confounding and an increased false-positive rate. Data from Pilot Study 3 of the 1000 Genomes project was used to demonstrate that a difference between the mean sequencing read depth of case and control samples can result in false-positive association for rare and uncommon variants, even when the mean coverage depth exceeds 30× in both groups. The degree of the confounding and inflation in the false-positive rate depended on the extent to which the mean depth was different in the case and control groups. A logistic regression model was used to test for association between case-control status and the cumulative number of alleles in a collapsed set of rare and uncommon variants. Including each individual's mean sequence read depth across the variant sites in the logistic regression model nearly eliminated the confounding effect and the inflated false-positive rate. Furthermore, accounting for the potential error by modeling the probability of the heterozygote genotype calls in the regression analysis had a relatively minor but beneficial effect on the statistical results. PMID:21328616

  19. Effective modification of particle surface properties using ultrasonic water mist.

    PubMed

    Genina, Natalja; Räikkönen, Heikki; Heinämäki, Jyrki; Antikainen, Osmo; Siiriä, Simo; Veski, Peep; Yliruusi, Jouko

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to design a new technique to modify particle surface properties and, through that, to improve flowability of poorly flowing drug thiamine hydrochloride and pharmaceutical sugar lactose monohydrate of two different grades. The powdered particles were supplied by a vibratory feeder and exposed to an instantaneous effect of water mist generated from an ultrasound nebulizer. The processed and original powders were evaluated with respect to morphology (scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and spatial filtering technique), flow, and solid state properties. It was found that rapid exposition of pharmaceutical materials by water mist resulted in the improvement of powder technical properties. The evident changes in flowability of coarser lactose were obviously due to smoothing of particle surface and decreasing in the level of fines with very slight increment in particle size. The changes in thiamine powder flow were mainly due to narrowing in particle size distribution where the tendency for better flow of finer lactose was related to surface and size modifications. The aqueous mist application did not cause any alteration of the crystal structures of the studied materials. The proposed water mist treatment technique appears to be a robust, rapid, and promising tool for the improvement of the technological properties of pharmaceutical powders. PMID:19288203

  20. Breast milk and cognitive development—the role of confounders: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Walfisch, Asnat; Sermer, Corey; Cressman, Alex; Koren, Gideon

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The association between breastfeeding and child cognitive development is conflicted by studies reporting positive and null effects. This relationship may be confounded by factors associated with breastfeeding, specifically maternal socioeconomic class and IQ. Design Systematic review of the literature. Setting and participants Any prospective or retrospective study, in any language, evaluating the association between breastfeeding and cognitive development using a validated method in healthy term infants, children or adults, was included. Primary and secondary outcome measures Extracted data included the study design, target population and sample size, breastfeeding exposure, cognitive development assessment tool used and participants’ age, summary of the results prior to, and following, adjustment for confounders, and all confounders adjusted for. Study quality was assessed as well. Results 84 studies met our inclusion criteria (34 rated as high quality, 26 moderate and 24 low quality). Critical assessment of accepted studies revealed the following associations: 21 null, 28 positive, 18 null after adjusting for confounders and 17 positive—diminished after adjusting for confounders. Directionality of effect did not correlate with study quality; however, studies showing a decreased effect after multivariate analysis were of superior quality compared with other study groupings (14/17 high quality, 82%). Further, studies that showed null or diminished effect after multivariate analysis corrected for significantly more confounders (7.7±3.4) as compared with those that found no change following adjustment (5.6±4.5, p=0.04). The majority of included studies were carried out during childhood (75%) and set in high-income countries (85.5%). Conclusions Much of the reported effect of breastfeeding on child neurodevelopment is due to confounding. It is unlikely that additional work will change the current synthesis. Future studies should attempt to rigorously

  1. Carotta: Revealing Hidden Confounder Markers in Metabolic Breath Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Hauschild, Anne-Christin; Frisch, Tobias; Baumbach, Jörg Ingo; Baumbach, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Computational breath analysis is a growing research area aiming at identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human breath to assist medical diagnostics of the next generation. While inexpensive and non-invasive bioanalytical technologies for metabolite detection in exhaled air and bacterial/fungal vapor exist and the first studies on the power of supervised machine learning methods for profiling of the resulting data were conducted, we lack methods to extract hidden data features emerging from confounding factors. Here, we present Carotta, a new cluster analysis framework dedicated to uncovering such hidden substructures by sophisticated unsupervised statistical learning methods. We study the power of transitivity clustering and hierarchical clustering to identify groups of VOCs with similar expression behavior over most patient breath samples and/or groups of patients with a similar VOC intensity pattern. This enables the discovery of dependencies between metabolites. On the one hand, this allows us to eliminate the effect of potential confounding factors hindering disease classification, such as smoking. On the other hand, we may also identify VOCs associated with disease subtypes or concomitant diseases. Carotta is an open source software with an intuitive graphical user interface promoting data handling, analysis and visualization. The back-end is designed to be modular, allowing for easy extensions with plugins in the future, such as new clustering methods and statistics. It does not require much prior knowledge or technical skills to operate. We demonstrate its power and applicability by means of one artificial dataset. We also apply Carotta exemplarily to a real-world example dataset on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While the artificial data are utilized as a proof of concept, we will demonstrate how Carotta finds candidate markers in our real dataset associated with confounders rather than the primary disease (COPD) and bronchial

  2. Carotta: Revealing Hidden Confounder Markers in Metabolic Breath Profiles.

    PubMed

    Hauschild, Anne-Christin; Frisch, Tobias; Baumbach, Jörg Ingo; Baumbach, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Computational breath analysis is a growing research area aiming at identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human breath to assist medical diagnostics of the next generation. While inexpensive and non-invasive bioanalytical technologies for metabolite detection in exhaled air and bacterial/fungal vapor exist and the first studies on the power of supervised machine learning methods for profiling of the resulting data were conducted, we lack methods to extract hidden data features emerging from confounding factors. Here, we present Carotta, a new cluster analysis framework dedicated to uncovering such hidden substructures by sophisticated unsupervised statistical learning methods. We study the power of transitivity clustering and hierarchical clustering to identify groups of VOCs with similar expression behavior over most patient breath samples and/or groups of patients with a similar VOC intensity pattern. This enables the discovery of dependencies between metabolites. On the one hand, this allows us to eliminate the effect of potential confounding factors hindering disease classification, such as smoking. On the other hand, we may also identify VOCs associated with disease subtypes or concomitant diseases. Carotta is an open source software with an intuitive graphical user interface promoting data handling, analysis and visualization. The back-end is designed to be modular, allowing for easy extensions with plugins in the future, such as new clustering methods and statistics. It does not require much prior knowledge or technical skills to operate. We demonstrate its power and applicability by means of one artificial dataset. We also apply Carotta exemplarily to a real-world example dataset on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While the artificial data are utilized as a proof of concept, we will demonstrate how Carotta finds candidate markers in our real dataset associated with confounders rather than the primary disease (COPD) and bronchial

  3. Parenting Practices at 24 to 47 Months and IQ at Age 8: Effect-Measure Modification by Infant Temperament.

    PubMed

    Chong, Shiau Yun; Chittleborough, Catherine R; Gregory, Tess; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lynch, John W; Smithers, Lisa G

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive development might be influenced by parenting practices and child temperament. We examined whether the associations between parental warmth, control and intelligence quotient (IQ) may be heightened among children in difficult temperament. Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7,044). Temperament at 6 months was measured using the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire and classified into 'easy' and 'difficult'. Parental warmth and control was measured at 24 to 47 months and both were classified into 2 groups using latent class analyses. IQ was measured at 8 years using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and dichotomized (<85 and ≥85) for analyzing effect-measure modification by temperament. Linear regression adjusted for multiple confounders and temperament showed lower parental warmth was weakly associated with lower IQ score [β = -0.52 (95% CI 1.26, 0.21)], and higher parental control was associated with lower IQ score [β = -2.21 (-2.95, -1.48)]. Stratification by temperament showed no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children [risk ratio (RR) = 0.97 95% CI 0.65, 1.45)] but an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.12 95% CI 0.95, 1.32) when parental warmth was low. There was also no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children (RR = 1.02 95% CI 0.69, 1.53) but there was an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.30 95% CI 1.11, 1.53) when parental control was high. For both parental warmth and control, there was some evidence of negative effect-measure modification by temperament on the risk-difference scale and the risk-ratio scale. It may be more appropriate to provide parenting interventions as a universal program rather than targeting children with difficult temperament. PMID:27027637

  4. Parenting Practices at 24 to 47 Months and IQ at Age 8: Effect-Measure Modification by Infant Temperament

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Shiau Yun; Chittleborough, Catherine R.; Gregory, Tess; Mittinty, Murthy N.; Lynch, John W.; Smithers, Lisa G.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive development might be influenced by parenting practices and child temperament. We examined whether the associations between parental warmth, control and intelligence quotient (IQ) may be heightened among children in difficult temperament. Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7,044). Temperament at 6 months was measured using the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire and classified into ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’. Parental warmth and control was measured at 24 to 47 months and both were classified into 2 groups using latent class analyses. IQ was measured at 8 years using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and dichotomized (<85 and ≥85) for analyzing effect-measure modification by temperament. Linear regression adjusted for multiple confounders and temperament showed lower parental warmth was weakly associated with lower IQ score [β = -0.52 (95% CI 1.26, 0.21)], and higher parental control was associated with lower IQ score [β = -2.21 (-2.95, -1.48)]. Stratification by temperament showed no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children [risk ratio (RR) = 0.97 95% CI 0.65, 1.45)] but an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.12 95% CI 0.95, 1.32) when parental warmth was low. There was also no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children (RR = 1.02 95% CI 0.69, 1.53) but there was an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.30 95% CI 1.11, 1.53) when parental control was high. For both parental warmth and control, there was some evidence of negative effect-measure modification by temperament on the risk-difference scale and the risk-ratio scale. It may be more appropriate to provide parenting interventions as a universal program rather than targeting children with difficult temperament. PMID:27027637

  5. Unique carbon nanotube architectures via surface modification and capillary effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrapani, Nirupama

    dimensions. Pattern formation could also be tailored by prefabricating nanotube arrays by simple lithographic techniques. This study is on the fundamental understanding of capillary effects in dense arrays of ordered nanotubes and the effect of surface modification of nanotubes. This simple self-assembly process is a novel way of creating different macroscopic morphologies and architectures with nanotubes.

  6. The Training Effects of a Behavior Modification Game.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidder, Steven J.; Guthrie, John T.

    A game designed to teach some of the skills used in behavior modification with slow learners was evaluated. The game, called "Modifying," was developed to increase the range of experience for students preparing to be special education teachers. A randomized, posttest-only design was employed. The design incorporated three treatments: conventional…

  7. Confounding Factors in the Transcriptome Analysis of an In-Vivo Exposure Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Wackers, Paul F. K.; van Oostrom, Conny; Jonker, Martijs J.; Dekker, Rob J.; Rauwerda, Han; Ensink, Wim A.; de Vries, Annemieke; Breit, Timo M.

    2016-01-01

    Confounding factors In transcriptomics experimentation, confounding factors frequently exist alongside the intended experimental factors and can severely influence the outcome of a transcriptome analysis. Confounding factors are regularly discussed in methodological literature, but their actual, practical impact on the outcome and interpretation of transcriptomics experiments is, to our knowledge, not documented. For instance, in-vivo experimental factors; like Individual, Sample-Composition and Time-of-Day are potentially formidable confounding factors. To study these confounding factors, we designed an extensive in-vivo transcriptome experiment (n = 264) with UVR exposure of murine skin containing six consecutive samples from each individual mouse (n = 64). Analysis Approach Evaluation of the confounding factors: Sample-Composition, Time-of-Day, Handling-Stress, and Individual-Mouse resulted in the identification of many genes that were affected by them. These genes sometimes showed over 30-fold expression differences. The most prominent confounding factor was Sample-Composition caused by mouse-dependent skin composition differences, sampling variation and/or influx/efflux of mobile cells. Although we can only evaluate these effects for known cell type specifically expressed genes in our complex heterogeneous samples, it is clear that the observed variations also affect the cumulative expression levels of many other non-cell-type-specific genes. ANOVA ANOVA analysis can only attempt to neutralize the effects of the well-defined confounding factors, such as Individual-Mouse, on the experimental factors UV-Dose and Recovery-Time. Also, by definition, ANOVA only yields reproducible gene-expression differences, but we found that these differences were very small compared to the fold changes induced by the confounding factors, questioning the biological relevance of these ANOVA-detected differences. Furthermore, it turned out that many of the differentially expressed

  8. [Unintended effects of genetic modifications in plants and methods of their analysis].

    PubMed

    Sorochyns'kyĭ, B V; Burlaka, O M; Naumenko, V D; Sekan, A S

    2011-01-01

    The problem of unintended effects caused by genetic modification of plants is analysed. Factors that can provoke the unintended effects in genetically engineered plants, their consequences and possibility of the avoiding of unintended effects with use of current methods of genetic modification are discussed. Modern methodological approaches applied to analyse the unintended effects during the safety assessment of transgenic plants, in particular methods of molecular profiling with different "-omic"-technologies are described. PMID:22168051

  9. Effects of Learner Ability and Instructional Modifications on Time Needed for Learning and Retention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gettinger, Maribeth

    1983-01-01

    A study examined the effects of two factors--learner ability and modifications of instruction through increased feedback and reduced size of instructional units--on the time required for learning and the retention of fourth-grade male students. While instructional modifications best predicted the time needed for learning, learner ability best…

  10. Burner modifications for cost effective NO{sub x} control

    SciTech Connect

    Melick, T.A.; Payne, R.; Kersch, J.

    1999-11-01

    Low NO{sub x} Burners achieve their NO{sub x} reduction principally by control of the rate of fuel/air mixing. Based on many years of low NO{sub x} burner development experience for wall fired applications, Energy and Environmental Research Corporation (EER) has found that low NO{sub x} fuel/air mixing conditions can be incorporated into conventional burners by modifying the burners as an alternative to complete burner replacement. The NO{sub x} control achieved with such Low NO{sub x} Burner Modifications is, in many cases, comparable to that of new burners but the cost to the utility is much lower. This paper presents an update on EER`s experience in applying Low NO{sub x} Burner Modifications to circular burners focusing on Delmarva Power and Light`s (Connectiv) Indian River Station.

  11. phMRI: methodological considerations for mitigating potential confounding factors

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, Julius H.; Wall, Matthew B.

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological Magnetic Resonance Imaging (phMRI) is a variant of conventional MRI that adds pharmacological manipulations in order to study the effects of drugs, or uses pharmacological probes to investigate basic or applied (e.g., clinical) neuroscience questions. Issues that may confound the interpretation of results from various types of phMRI studies are briefly discussed, and a set of methodological strategies that can mitigate these problems are described. These include strategies that can be employed at every stage of investigation, from study design to interpretation of resulting data, and additional techniques suited for use with clinical populations are also featured. Pharmacological MRI is a challenging area of research that has both significant advantages and formidable difficulties, however with due consideration and use of these strategies many of the key obstacles can be overcome. PMID:25999812

  12. Review: modifications of human serum albumin and their binding effect.

    PubMed

    Lee, Philbert; Wu, Xiaoyang

    2015-01-01

    Human serum albumin (HSA) regulates the transport and availability of numerous chemical compounds and molecules in the blood vascular system. While previous HSA research has found that HSA interacts with specific varieties of ligands, new research efforts aim to expand HSA's ability to interact with more different drugs in order to improve the delivery of various pharmacological drugs. This review will cover fatty acid chain and posttranslational modifications of HSA that potentially modulate how HSA interacts with various pharmacological drugs, including glycation, cysteinylation, S-nitrosylation, S-transnitrosation and S-guanylation. PMID:25732553

  13. Review: Modifications of Human Serum Albumin and Their Binding Effect

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Philbert; Wu, Xiaoyang

    2015-01-01

    Human serum albumin (HSA) regulates the transport and availability of numerous chemical compounds and molecules in the blood vascular system. While previous HSA research has found that HSA interacts with specific varieties of ligands, new research efforts aim to expand HSA’s ability to interact with more different drugs in order to improve the delivery of various pharmacological drugs. This review will cover fatty acid chain and post-translational modifications of HSA that potentially modulate how HSA interacts with various pharmacological drugs, including glycation, cysteinylation, S-nitrosylation, S-transnitrosation and S-guanylation. PMID:25732553

  14. Negative Confounding by Essential Fatty Acids in Methylmercury Neurotoxicity Associations

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Anna L; Mogensen, Ulla B.; Bjerve, Kristian S.; Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pal; Grandjean, Philippe; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2014-01-01

    Background Methylmercury, a worldwide contaminant of fish and seafood, can cause adverse effects on the developing nervous system. However, long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in seafood provide beneficial effects on brain development. Negative confounding will likely result in underestimation of both mercury toxicity and nutrient benefits unless mutual adjustment is included in the analysis. Methods We examined these associations in 176 Faroese children, in whom prenatal methylmercury exposure was assessed from mercury concentrations in cord blood and maternal hair. The relative concentrations of fatty acids were determined in cord serum phospholipids. Neuropsychological performance in verbal, motor, attention, spatial, and memory functions was assessed at 7 years of age. Multiple regression and structural equation models (SEMs) were carried out to determine the confounder-adjusted associations with methylmercury exposure. Results A short delay recall (in percent change) in the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was associated with a doubling of cord blood methylmercury (−18.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −36.3, −1.51). The association became stronger after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−22.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −39.4, −4.62). In structural equation models, poorer memory function (corresponding to a lower score in the learning trials and short delay recall in CVLT) was associated with a doubling of prenatal exposure to methylmercury after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−1.94, 95% CI = −3.39, −0.49). Conclusions Associations between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and neurobehavioral deficits in memory function at school age were strengthened after fatty acid adjustment, thus suggesting that n-3 fatty acids need to be included in analysis of similar studies to avoid underestimation of the associations with methylmercury exposure. PMID:24561639

  15. Adjusting for confounding by neighborhood using complex survey data.

    PubMed

    Brumback, Babette A; He, Zhulin

    2011-04-30

    Recently, we examined methods of adjusting for confounding by neighborhood of an individual exposure effect on a binary outcome, using complex survey data; the methods were found to fail when the neighborhood sample sizes are small and the selection bias is strongly informative. More recently, other authors have adapted an older method from the genetics literature for application to complex survey data; their adaptation achieves a consistent estimator under a broad range of circumstances. The method is based on weighted pseudolikelihoods, in which the contribution from each neighborhood involves all pairs of cases and controls in the neighborhood. The pairs are treated as if they were independent, a pairwise pseudo-conditional likelihood is thus derived, and then the corresponding score equation is weighted with inverse-probabilities of sampling each case-control pair. We have greatly simplified the implementation by translating the pairwise pseudo-conditional likelihood into an equivalent ordinary weighted log-likelihood formulation. We show how to program the method using standard software for ordinary logistic regression with complex survey data (e.g. SAS PROC SURVEYLOGISTIC). We also show that the methodology applies to a broader set of sampling scenarios than the ones considered by the previous authors. We demonstrate the validity of our simplified implementation by applying it to a simulation for which previous methods failed; the new method performs beautifully. We also apply the new method to an analysis of 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) public-use data, to estimate the effect of education on health insurance coverage, adjusting for confounding by neighborhood. PMID:21287588

  16. 75 FR 11559 - Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.-Bahrain FTA Rules of Origin

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-11

    ... COMMISSION Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.- Bahrain FTA Rules of Origin AGENCY...-103-025, Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.-Bahrain FTA Rules Of Origin... effect of the proposed modifications on U.S. trade under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA, total U.S. trade, and...

  17. Using instrumental variables to estimate a Cox's proportional hazards regression subject to additive confounding

    PubMed Central

    Tosteson, Tor D.; Morden, Nancy E.; Stukel, Therese A.; O'Malley, A. James

    2014-01-01

    The estimation of treatment effects is one of the primary goals of statistics in medicine. Estimation based on observational studies is subject to confounding. Statistical methods for controlling bias due to confounding include regression adjustment, propensity scores and inverse probability weighted estimators. These methods require that all confounders are recorded in the data. The method of instrumental variables (IVs) can eliminate bias in observational studies even in the absence of information on confounders. We propose a method for integrating IVs within the framework of Cox's proportional hazards model and demonstrate the conditions under which it recovers the causal effect of treatment. The methodology is based on the approximate orthogonality of an instrument with unobserved confounders among those at risk. We derive an estimator as the solution to an estimating equation that resembles the score equation of the partial likelihood in much the same way as the traditional IV estimator resembles the normal equations. To justify this IV estimator for a Cox model we perform simulations to evaluate its operating characteristics. Finally, we apply the estimator to an observational study of the effect of coronary catheterization on survival. PMID:25506259

  18. Sharp sensitivity bounds for mediation under unmeasured mediator-outcome confounding

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Peng; Vanderweele, Tyler J.

    2016-01-01

    It is often of interest to decompose the total effect of an exposure into a component that acts on the outcome through some mediator and a component that acts independently through other pathways. Said another way, we are interested in the direct and indirect effects of the exposure on the outcome. Even if the exposure is randomly assigned, it is often infeasible to randomize the mediator, leaving the mediator-outcome confounding not fully controlled. We develop a sensitivity analysis technique that can bound the direct and indirect effects without parametric assumptions about the unmeasured mediator-outcome confounding.

  19. Restricted spatial regression in practice: Geostatistical models, confounding, and robustness under model misspecification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanks, Ephraim M.; Schliep, Erin M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Hoeting, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    In spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs), covariates that are spatially smooth are often collinear with spatially smooth random effects. This phenomenon is known as spatial confounding and has been studied primarily in the case where the spatial support of the process being studied is discrete (e.g., areal spatial data). In this case, the most common approach suggested is restricted spatial regression (RSR) in which the spatial random effects are constrained to be orthogonal to the fixed effects. We consider spatial confounding and RSR in the geostatistical (continuous spatial support) setting. We show that RSR provides computational benefits relative to the confounded SGLMM, but that Bayesian credible intervals under RSR can be inappropriately narrow under model misspecification. We propose a posterior predictive approach to alleviating this potential problem and discuss the appropriateness of RSR in a variety of situations. We illustrate RSR and SGLMM approaches through simulation studies and an analysis of malaria frequencies in The Gambia, Africa.

  20. Effects of wing modification on an aircraft's aerodynamic parameters as determined from flight data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hess, R. A.

    1986-01-01

    A study of the effects of four wing-leading-edge modifications on a general aviation aircraft's stability and control parameters is presented. Flight data from the basic aircraft configuration and configurations with wing modifications are analyzed to determine each wing geometry's stability and control parameters. The parameter estimates and aerodynamic model forms are obtained using the stepwise regression and maximum likelihood techniques. The resulting parameter estimates and aerodynamic models are verified using vortex-lattice theory and by analysis of each model's ability to predict aircraft behavior. Comparisons of the stability and control derivative estimates from the basic wing and the four leading-edge modifications are accomplished so that the effects of each modification on aircraft stability and control derivatives can be determined.

  1. The Effect of Titanium Surface Modifications on Dental Implant Osseointegration.

    PubMed

    Annunziata, Marco; Guida, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    The use of titanium dental implants has consistently changed the way of rehabilitating patients in modern dentistry and can count on high long-term survival and success rates. With respect to its introduction in the late 1960s, clinical indications for implant therapy have been significantly extended and optimal results have been achieved, even in clinical conditions formerly considered as unfavourable. Such evolution owes a lot to the significant progress made in the field of titanium surfaces. The topographical and chemical modification of traditional titanium surfaces has led to a real epochal shift in implant dentistry. Depending on the type and characteristics of the surface treatment applied, a wide range of implants has been produced, which have contributed to the success but also increased the risk of confusion in implant selection criteria for the clinician. This chapter, which provides an updated analysis of the relevant literature, the characteristics of modern implant surfaces, the biological principles underlying their role in promoting osseointegration and the scientific evidence about their clinical use are analyzed and presented. PMID:26201277

  2. 19 CFR 181.100 - Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters... Advance Ruling Procedures § 181.100 Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation. (a) Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters—(1) General. An advance ruling letter issued by...

  3. Smoking and Hormesis as Confounding Factors in Radiation Pulmonary Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Charles L.; Scott, Bobby R.

    2008-01-01

    Confounding factors in radiation pulmonary carcinogenesis are passive and active cigarette smoke exposures and radiation hormesis. Significantly increased lung cancer risk from ionizing radiation at lung doses < 1 Gy is not observed in never smokers exposed to ionizing radiations. Residential radon is not a cause of lung cancer in never smokers and may protect against lung cancer in smokers. The risk of lung cancer found in many epi-demiological studies was less than the expected risk (hormetic effect) for nuclear weapons and power plant workers, shipyard workers, fluoroscopy patients, and inhabitants of high-dose background radiation. The protective effect was noted for low- and mixed high- and low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiations in both genders. Many studies showed a protection factor (PROFAC) > 0.40 (40% avoided) against the occurrence of lung cancer. The ubiquitous nature of the radiation hormesis response in cellular, animal, and epidemio-logical studies negates the healthy worker effect as an explanation for radiation hormesis. Low-dose radiation may stimulate DNA repair/apoptosis and immunity to suppress and eliminate cigarette-smoke-induced transformed cells in the lung, reducing lung cancer occurrence in smokers. PMID:18648572

  4. Methods to control for unmeasured confounding in pharmacoepidemiology: an overview.

    PubMed

    Uddin, Md Jamal; Groenwold, Rolf H H; Ali, Mohammed Sanni; de Boer, Anthonius; Roes, Kit C B; Chowdhury, Muhammad A B; Klungel, Olaf H

    2016-06-01

    Background Unmeasured confounding is one of the principal problems in pharmacoepidemiologic studies. Several methods have been proposed to detect or control for unmeasured confounding either at the study design phase or the data analysis phase. Aim of the Review To provide an overview of commonly used methods to detect or control for unmeasured confounding and to provide recommendations for proper application in pharmacoepidemiology. Methods/Results Methods to control for unmeasured confounding in the design phase of a study are case only designs (e.g., case-crossover, case-time control, self-controlled case series) and the prior event rate ratio adjustment method. Methods that can be applied in the data analysis phase include, negative control method, perturbation variable method, instrumental variable methods, sensitivity analysis, and ecological analysis. A separate group of methods are those in which additional information on confounders is collected from a substudy. The latter group includes external adjustment, propensity score calibration, two-stage sampling, and multiple imputation. Conclusion As the performance and application of the methods to handle unmeasured confounding may differ across studies and across databases, we stress the importance of using both statistical evidence and substantial clinical knowledge for interpretation of the study results. PMID:27091131

  5. An education gradient in health, a health gradient in education, or a confounded gradient in both?

    PubMed

    Lynch, Jamie L; von Hippel, Paul T

    2016-04-01

    There is a positive gradient associating educational attainment with health, yet the explanation for this gradient is not clear. Does higher education improve health (causation)? Do the healthy become highly educated (selection)? Or do good health and high educational attainment both result from advantages established early in the life course (confounding)? This study evaluates these competing explanations by tracking changes in educational attainment and Self-rated Health (SRH) from age 15 to age 31 in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 cohort. Ordinal logistic regression confirms that high-SRH adolescents are more likely to become highly educated. This is partly because adolescent SRH is associated with early advantages including adolescents' academic performance, college plans, and family background (confounding); however, net of these confounders adolescent SRH still predicts adult educational attainment (selection). Fixed-effects longitudinal regression shows that educational attainment has little causal effect on SRH at age 31. Completion of a high school diploma or associate's degree has no effect on SRH, while completion of a bachelor's or graduate degree have effects that, though significant, are quite small (less than 0.1 points on a 5-point scale). While it is possible that educational attainment would have greater effect on health at older ages, at age 31 what we see is a health gradient in education, shaped primarily by selection and confounding rather than by a causal effect of education on health. PMID:26943010

  6. Counterfactual graphical models for longitudinal mediation analysis with unobserved confounding.

    PubMed

    Shpitser, Ilya

    2013-08-01

    Questions concerning mediated causal effects are of great interest in psychology, cognitive science, medicine, social science, public health, and many other disciplines. For instance, about 60% of recent papers published in leading journals in social psychology contain at least one mediation test (Rucker, Preacher, Tormala, & Petty, 2011). Standard parametric approaches to mediation analysis employ regression models, and either the "difference method" (Judd & Kenny, 1981), more common in epidemiology, or the "product method" (Baron & Kenny, 1986), more common in the social sciences. In this article, we first discuss a known, but perhaps often unappreciated, fact that these parametric approaches are a special case of a general counterfactual framework for reasoning about causality first described by Neyman (1923) and Rubin (1924) and linked to causal graphical models by Robins (1986) and Pearl (2006). We then show a number of advantages of this framework. First, it makes the strong assumptions underlying mediation analysis explicit. Second, it avoids a number of problems present in the product and difference methods, such as biased estimates of effects in certain cases. Finally, we show the generality of this framework by proving a novel result which allows mediation analysis to be applied to longitudinal settings with unobserved confounders. PMID:23899340

  7. Effects of Instruction on Adolescent Beginners' Acquisition of Request Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Qingping

    2012-01-01

    This quasiexperimental study examined the effects of different focus-on-form techniques, and the durability of such effects, on adolescent beginners' acquisition of request supportive moves. Three treatments were implemented: (1) the incidental group was exposed to input and involved in meaningful output activities; (2) the implicit group was…

  8. Effects of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility and nucleosome mechanical stability

    PubMed Central

    Ngo, Thuy T. M.; Yoo, Jejoong; Dai, Qing; Zhang, Qiucen; He, Chuan; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Ha, Taekjip

    2016-01-01

    Cytosine can undergo modifications, forming 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and its oxidized products 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5-fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5-caC). Despite their importance as epigenetic markers and as central players in cellular processes, it is not well understood how these modifications influence physical properties of DNA and chromatin. Here we report a comprehensive survey of the effect of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility. We find that even a single copy of 5-fC increases DNA flexibility markedly. 5-mC reduces and 5-hmC enhances flexibility, and 5-caC does not have a measurable effect. Molecular dynamics simulations show that these modifications promote or dampen structural fluctuations, likely through competing effects of base polarity and steric hindrance, without changing the average structure. The increase in DNA flexibility increases the mechanical stability of the nucleosome and vice versa, suggesting a gene regulation mechanism where cytosine modifications change the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA through their effects on DNA flexibility. PMID:26905257

  9. Effects of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility and nucleosome mechanical stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngo, Thuy T. M.; Yoo, Jejoong; Dai, Qing; Zhang, Qiucen; He, Chuan; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Ha, Taekjip

    2016-02-01

    Cytosine can undergo modifications, forming 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and its oxidized products 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5-fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5-caC). Despite their importance as epigenetic markers and as central players in cellular processes, it is not well understood how these modifications influence physical properties of DNA and chromatin. Here we report a comprehensive survey of the effect of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility. We find that even a single copy of 5-fC increases DNA flexibility markedly. 5-mC reduces and 5-hmC enhances flexibility, and 5-caC does not have a measurable effect. Molecular dynamics simulations show that these modifications promote or dampen structural fluctuations, likely through competing effects of base polarity and steric hindrance, without changing the average structure. The increase in DNA flexibility increases the mechanical stability of the nucleosome and vice versa, suggesting a gene regulation mechanism where cytosine modifications change the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA through their effects on DNA flexibility.

  10. Surface Modifications and Their Effects on Titanium Dental Implants

    PubMed Central

    Jemat, A.; Ghazali, M. J.; Razali, M.; Otsuka, Y.

    2015-01-01

    This review covers several basic methodologies of surface treatment and their effects on titanium (Ti) implants. The importance of each treatment and its effects will be discussed in detail in order to compare their effectiveness in promoting osseointegration. Published literature for the last 18 years was selected with the use of keywords like titanium dental implant, surface roughness, coating, and osseointegration. Significant surface roughness played an important role in providing effective surface for bone implant contact, cell proliferation, and removal torque, despite having good mechanical properties. Overall, published studies indicated that an acid etched surface-modified and a coating application on commercial pure titanium implant was most preferable in producing the good surface roughness. Thus, a combination of a good surface roughness and mechanical properties of titanium could lead to successful dental implants. PMID:26436097

  11. Effects of different substrate surface modifications on the epitaxial ZnO/Si

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Peng; Jin, Changlian; Zhan, Huahan; Chen, Xiaohang; Xu, Fuchun; Zhou, Yinghui; Wang, Huiqiong; Kang, Junyong

    2013-09-01

    To produce high quality ZnO/Si for the applications in short wavelength optoelectronic devices, the effects of different silicon surface modifications on the overgrown ZnO thin film were investigated. Samples were grown by a plasma assistant molecular beam epitaxy at room temperature, avoiding the oxidation of the Si surface and the thermal stress caused by difference of the thermal expansion coefficients between ZnO and silicon. Different modifications on the Si(100) substrate surface including nitridation, oxidation, and depositions of Mg and Zn, were employed. The effects on the overgrown ZnO layers and the interlayer SiOx were investigated by atomic force microscopy, photoluminescence, X-ray diffraction and auger depth electron spectroscopy. All the modifications were effective in different degrees at reducing the SiOx amorphous layer. However, different mechanisms resulted in distinct performance in crystal structure and optical property.

  12. The effects of beta-endorphin: state change modification.

    PubMed

    Veening, Jan G; Barendregt, Henk P

    2015-01-01

    Beta-endorphin (β-END) is an opioid neuropeptide which has an important role in the development of hypotheses concerning the non-synaptic or paracrine communication of brain messages. This kind of communication between neurons has been designated volume transmission (VT) to differentiate it clearly from synaptic communication. VT occurs over short as well as long distances via the extracellular space in the brain, as well as via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flowing through the ventricular spaces inside the brain and the arachnoid space surrounding the central nervous system (CNS). To understand how β-END can have specific behavioral effects, we use the notion behavioral state, inspired by the concept of machine state, coming from Turing (Proc London Math Soc, Series 2,42:230-265, 1937). In section 1.4 the sequential organization of male rat behavior is explained showing that an animal is not free to switch into another state at any given moment. Funneling-constraints restrict the number of possible behavioral transitions in specific phases while at other moments in the sequence the transition to other behavioral states is almost completely open. The effects of β-END on behaviors like food intake and sexual behavior, and the mechanisms involved in reward, meditation and pain control are discussed in detail. The effects on the sequential organization of behavior and on state transitions dominate the description of these effects. PMID:25879522

  13. Adjusting for unmeasured confounding due to either of two crossed factors with a logistic regression model.

    PubMed

    Li, Li; Brumback, Babette A; Weppelmann, Thomas A; Morris, J Glenn; Ali, Afsar

    2016-08-15

    Motivated by an investigation of the effect of surface water temperature on the presence of Vibrio cholerae in water samples collected from different fixed surface water monitoring sites in Haiti in different months, we investigated methods to adjust for unmeasured confounding due to either of the two crossed factors site and month. In the process, we extended previous methods that adjust for unmeasured confounding due to one nesting factor (such as site, which nests the water samples from different months) to the case of two crossed factors. First, we developed a conditional pseudolikelihood estimator that eliminates fixed effects for the levels of each of the crossed factors from the estimating equation. Using the theory of U-Statistics for independent but non-identically distributed vectors, we show that our estimator is consistent and asymptotically normal, but that its variance depends on the nuisance parameters and thus cannot be easily estimated. Consequently, we apply our estimator in conjunction with a permutation test, and we investigate use of the pigeonhole bootstrap and the jackknife for constructing confidence intervals. We also incorporate our estimator into a diagnostic test for a logistic mixed model with crossed random effects and no unmeasured confounding. For comparison, we investigate between-within models extended to two crossed factors. These generalized linear mixed models include covariate means for each level of each factor in order to adjust for the unmeasured confounding. We conduct simulation studies, and we apply the methods to the Haitian data. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26892025

  14. The Effect of Decitabine Dose Modification and Myelosuppression on Response and Survival in Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Jabbour, Elias; Garcia-Manero, Guillermo; Cornelison, A. Megan; Cortes, Jorge E.; Ravandi, Farhad; Daver, Naval; Kadia, Tapan; Teng, Angela; Kantarjian, Hagop

    2014-01-01

    Myelosuppression in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is associated with the hypomethylating agent decitabine. A retrospective pooled analysis of 2 decitabine clinical trials in patients with MDS conducted Cox regression analyses of red blood cell or platelet dependence, myelosuppression, dose modification, cycle delay or dose reduction, and survival effects. In 182 patients, baseline platelet dependence was a predictor for dose modification, reduction, or delay, and death (modification: P = .006, hazard ratio [HR] = 2.04; reduction/delay: P = .011, HR = 2.00; death: P = .003, HR = 1.94). Patients with dose modifications had significantly higher overall response rates versus those with none (22% vs 10%; P = .015). Patients with no dose modifications had faster progression to AML versus patients with dose modifications (P = .004). Without dose modifications, patients tended to drop out due to disease progression or other reasons. Decitabine dose modifications on treatment may indicate response to treatment. PMID:24844364

  15. Inflammatory effects of Edwardsiella ictaluri lipopolysaccharide modifications in catfish gut.

    PubMed

    Santander, Javier; Kilbourne, Jacquelyn; Park, Jie-Yeun; Martin, Taylor; Loh, Amanda; Diaz, Ignacia; Rojas, Robert; Segovia, Cristopher; DeNardo, Dale; Curtiss, Roy

    2014-08-01

    Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are structural components of the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria and also are potent inducers of inflammation in mammals. Higher vertebrates are extremely sensitive to LPS, but lower vertebrates, like fish, are resistant to their systemic toxic effects. However, the effects of LPS on the fish intestinal mucosa remain unknown. Edwardsiella ictaluri is a primitive member of the Enterobacteriaceae family that causes enteric septicemia in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). E. ictaluri infects and colonizes deep lymphoid tissues upon oral or immersion infection. Both gut and olfactory organs are the primary sites of invasion. At the systemic level, E. ictaluri pathogenesis is relatively well characterized, but our knowledge about E. ictaluri intestinal interaction is limited. Recently, we observed that E. ictaluri oligo-polysaccharide (O-PS) LPS mutants have differential effects on the intestinal epithelia of orally inoculated catfish. Here we evaluate the effects of E. ictaluri O-PS LPS mutants by using a novel catfish intestinal loop model and compare it to the rabbit ileal loop model inoculated with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LPS. We found evident differences in rabbit ileal loop and catfish ileal loop responses to E. ictaluri and S. Typhimurium LPS. We determined that catfish respond to E. ictaluri LPS but not to S. Typhimurium LPS. We also determined that E. ictaluri inhibits cytokine production and induces disruption of the intestinal fish epithelia in an O-PS-dependent fashion. The E. ictaluri wild type and ΔwibT LPS mutant caused intestinal tissue damage and inhibited proinflammatory cytokine synthesis, in contrast to E. ictaluri Δgne and Δugd LPS mutants. We concluded that the E. ictaluri O-PS subunits play a major role during pathogenesis, since they influence the recognition of the LPS by the intestinal mucosal immune system of the catfish. The LPS structure of E. ictaluri mutants is needed to

  16. Effects of cementation surface modifications on fracture resistance of zirconia

    PubMed Central

    Srikanth, Ramanathan; Kosmac, Tomaz; Bona, Alvaro Della; Yin, Ling; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the effects of glass infiltration (GI) and alumina coating (AC) on the indentation flexural load and four-point bending strength of monolithic zirconia. Methods Plate-shaped (12 mm × 12 mm × 1.0 mm or 1.5 mm or 2.0 mm) and bar-shaped (4 mm × 3 mm × 25 mm) monolithic zirconia specimens were fabricated. In addition to monolithic zirconia (group Z), zirconia monoliths were glass-infiltrated or alumina-coated on their tensile surfaces to form groups ZGI and ZAC, respectively. They were also glass-infiltrated on their upper surfaces, and glass-infiltrated or alumina-coated on their lower (tensile) surfaces to make groups ZGI2 and ZAC2, respectively. For comparison, porcelain-veneered zirconia (group PVZ) and monolithic lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (group LiDi) specimens were also fabricated. The plate-shaped specimens were cemented onto a restorative composite base for Hertzian indentation using a tungsten carbide spherical indenter with a radius of 3.2 mm. Critical loads for indentation flexural fracture at the zirconia cementation surface were measured. Strengths of bar-shaped specimens were evaluated in four-point bending. Results Glass infiltration on zirconia tensile surfaces increased indentation flexural loads by 32% in Hertzian contact and flexural strength by 24% in four-point bending. Alumina coating showed no significant effect on resistance to flexural damage of zirconia. Monolithic zirconia outperformed porcelain-veneered zirconia and monolithic lithium disilicate glass-ceramics in terms of both indentation flexural load and flexural strength. Significance While both alumina coating and glass infiltration can be used to effectively modify the cementation surface of zirconia, glass infiltration can further increase the flexural fracture resistance of zirconia. PMID:25687628

  17. Effect of Structural Modification on Second Harmonic Generation in Collagen

    SciTech Connect

    Stoller, P C; Reiser, K M; Celliers, P M; Rubenchik, A M

    2003-04-04

    The effects of structural perturbation on second harmonic generation in collagen were investigated. Type I collagen fascicles obtained from rat tails were structurally modified by increasing nonenzymatic cross-linking, by thermal denaturation, by collagenase digestion, or by dehydration. Changes in polarization dependence were observed in the dehydrated samples. Surprisingly, no changes in polarization dependence were observed in highly crosslinked samples, despite significant alterations in packing structure. Complete thermal denaturation and collagenase digestion produced samples with no detectable second harmonic signal. Prior to loss of signal, no change in polarization dependence was observed in partially heated or digested collagen.

  18. The Effects of Approach-Avoidance Modification on Social Anxiety Disorder: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Asnaani, Anu; Rinck, Mike; Becker, Eni; Hofmann, Stefan G.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive bias modification has recently been discussed as a possible intervention for mental disorders. A specific form of this novel treatment approach is approach-avoidance modification. In order to examine the efficacy of approach-avoidance modification for positive stimuli associated with social anxiety, we recruited 43 individuals with social anxiety disorder and randomly assigned them to a training (implicit training to approach smiling faces) or a control (equal approach and avoidance of smiling faces) condition in three sessions over the course of a one-week period. Dependent measures included clinician ratings, self-report measures of social anxiety, and overt behavior during behavioral approach tasks. No group differences in any of the outcome measures were observed after training. In addition, while individuals in the training group showed increased approach tendency in one of the sessions, this effect was inconsistent across the three sessions and did not result in long-term changes in implicit approach tendencies between the groups over the course of the entire study. These results suggest that approach-avoidance modification might result in short-lasting effects on implicit approach tendencies towards feared positive stimuli, but this modification may not result in meaningful behavioral change or symptom reduction in individuals with social anxiety disorder. PMID:24659832

  19. Bentonite modification with hexadecylpyridinium and aluminum polyoxy cations and its effectiveness in Se(IV) removal.

    PubMed

    Orucoglu, Esra; Haciyakupoglu, Sevilay

    2015-09-01

    Usage of bentonite as a buffer material is suggested in radioactive waste repositories. Although bentonites have higher sorption ability to cations, they cannot adsorp anions due to negative surface charge. Nowadays, ongoing researches focus on increasing anion adsorption ability of the bentonites with modification. Organic-pillared bentonite (OPBent) was produced by modification of sodium bentonite with aluminum polyoxy and hexadecylpyridinium cations in this study. Variation in structure after modification was demonstrated by using different characterization techniques. Se removal efficiency of OPBent is investigated by using (75)Se, since selenium (Se) is one of the important long lived fission products found in radioactive waste and has toxic anionic species in an aqueous environment. The effect of reaction time, solid/liquid ratio, pH and concentration on the adsorption performance were examined. Se speciation and its effect onto adsorption were also investigated by measuring Eh-pH values under certain experimental conditions. Additionally, importance of the amount of Al-polyoxy cations used in modification was investigated by comparing these results with the results of other organic-pillared bentonite produced in our previous research. Experimental results confirmed that both cations were successfully placed into the bentonite interlayer and significant change in the host structure leads to increase Se adsorption. Consequently, bentonite modification improves its Se adsorption ability and further investigations are needed related to the usage of this adsorbent in other remediation studies especially in sorption of other anionic pollutants. PMID:26081306

  20. Combating Unmeasured Confounding in Cross-Sectional Studies: Evaluating Instrumental-Variable and Heckman Selection Models

    PubMed Central

    DeMaris, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Unmeasured confounding is the principal threat to unbiased estimation of treatment “effects” (i.e., regression parameters for binary regressors) in nonexperimental research. It refers to unmeasured characteristics of individuals that lead them both to be in a particular “treatment” category and to register higher or lower values than others on a response variable. In this article, I introduce readers to 2 econometric techniques designed to control the problem, with a particular emphasis on the Heckman selection model (HSM). Both techniques can be used with only cross-sectional data. Using a Monte Carlo experiment, I compare the performance of instrumental-variable regression (IVR) and HSM to that of ordinary least squares (OLS) under conditions with treatment and unmeasured confounding both present and absent. I find HSM generally to outperform IVR with respect to mean-square-error of treatment estimates, as well as power for detecting either a treatment effect or unobserved confounding. However, both HSM and IVR require a large sample to be fully effective. The use of HSM and IVR in tandem with OLS to untangle unobserved confounding bias in cross-sectional data is further demonstrated with an empirical application. Using data from the 2006–2010 General Social Survey (National Opinion Research Center, 2014), I examine the association between being married and subjective well-being. PMID:25110904

  1. Scalar Modifications to Gravity from Unparticle Effects May Be Testable

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, Haim; Nath, Pran

    2008-01-25

    Interest has focused recently on low energy implications of a nontrivial scale invariant sector of an effective field theory with an IR fixed point, manifest in terms of 'unparticles' with peculiar properties. If unparticle stuff exists it could couple to the stress tensor and mediate a new 'fifth' force ('ungravity'). Under the assumption of strict conformal invariance in the hidden sector down to low energies, we compute the lowest order ungravity correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential and find scale invariant power law corrections of type (R{sub G}/r){sup 2d{sub U}-1}, where d{sub U} is an anomalous unparticle dimension and R{sub G} is a characteristic length scale where the ungravity interactions become significant. It is shown that a discrimination between extra dimension models and ungravity is possible in future improved submillimeter tests of gravity.

  2. Dual-effect laser handpiece for modification of tissue permeability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, Kathleen

    2011-03-01

    A new approach for improving the availability of topically applied drugs by reducing the permeability of dermis has been evaluated. The premise of this work is that photothermal vascular injury will reduce vascular uptake of drug in the dermis. The dermal distribution of two topically applied drugs, 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C, is calculated, considering molecular diffusion and vascular uptake according to a distributed model, in the presence and absence of vascular injury. Intradermal drug exposures obtained are compared to exposures known to be effective in killing tumor cells. Combining the reduction in dermal permeability with fractional photothermal epidermal ablation to increase epidermal permeability may allow higher drug concentrations to be achieved in the skin. A newly developed laser handpiece for implementing the technique is described.

  3. Effect of Surface Modification and Macrophage Phenotype on Particle Internalization

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Daniel; Phan, Ngoc; Isely, Christopher; Bruene, Lucas; Bratlie, Kaitlin M

    2014-11-10

    Material properties play a key role in the cellular internalization of polymeric particles. In the present study, we have investigated the effects of material characteristics such as water contact angle, zeta potential, melting temperature, and alternative activation of complement on particle internalization for pro-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic, and naïve macrophages by using biopolymers (~600 nm), functionalized with 13 different molecules. Understanding how material parameters influence particle internalization for different macrophage phenotypes is important for targeted delivery to specific cell populations. Here, we demonstrate that material parameters affect the alternative pathway of complement activation as well as particle internalization for different macrophage phenotypes. Here, we show that the quantitative structure–activity relationship method (QSAR) previously used to predict physiochemical properties of materials can be applied to targeting different macrophage phenotypes. These findings demonstrated that targeted drug delivery to macrophages could be achieved by exploiting material parameters.

  4. Packet Randomized Experiments for Eliminating Classes of Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Pavela, Greg; Wiener, Howard; Fontaine, Kevin R.; Fields, David A.; Voss, Jameson D.; Allison, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Although randomization is considered essential for causal inference, it is often not possible to randomize in nutrition and obesity research. To address this, we develop a framework for an experimental design—packet randomized experiments (PREs), which improves causal inferences when randomization on a single treatment variable is not possible. This situation arises when subjects are randomly assigned to a condition (such as a new roommate) which varies in one characteristic of interest (such as weight), but also varies across many others. There has been no general discussion of this experimental design, including its strengths, limitations, and statistical properties. As such, researchers are left to develop and apply PREs on an ad hoc basis, limiting its potential to improve causal inferences among nutrition and obesity researchers. Methods We introduce PREs as an intermediary design between randomized controlled trials and observational studies. We review previous research that used the PRE design and describe its application in obesity-related research, including random roommate assignments, heterochronic parabiosis, and the quasi-random assignment of subjects to geographic areas. We then provide a statistical framework to control for potential packet-level confounders not accounted for by randomization. Results PREs have successfully been used to improve causal estimates of the effect of roommates, altitude, and breastfeeding on weight outcomes. When certain assumptions are met, PREs can asymptotically control for packet-level characteristics. This has the potential to statistically estimate the effect of a single treatment even when randomization to a single treatment did not occur. Conclusions Applying PREs to obesity-related research will improve decisions about clinical, public health, and policy actions insofar as it offers researchers new insight into cause and effect relationships among variables. PMID:25444088

  5. Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Causal or Confounded?

    PubMed

    Weisskopf, Marc G; Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Roberts, Andrea L

    2015-12-01

    In the last decade, several studies have examined the association between perinatal exposure to ambient air pollution and risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have largely been consistent, with associations seen with different aspects of air pollution, including hazardous air toxics, ozone, particulate, and traffic-related pollution. Confounding by socioeconomic status (SES) and place of residence are of particular concern, as these can be related to ASD case ascertainment and other potential causal risk factors for ASD. While all studies take steps to address this concern, residual confounding is difficult to rule out. Two recent studies of air pollution and ASD, however, present findings that strongly argue against residual confounding, especially for factors that do not vary over relatively short time intervals. These two studies, conducted in communities around the USA, found a specific association with air pollution exposure during the 3rd, but not the 1st, trimester, when both trimesters were modeled simultaneously. In this review, we discuss confounding possibilities and then explain-with the aid of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs)-why an association that is specific to a particular time window, when multiple exposure windows are simultaneously assessed, argues against residual confounding by (even unmeasured) non-time-varying factors. In addition, we discuss why examining ambient air pollution concentration as a proxy for personal exposure helps avoid confounding by personal behavior differences, and the implications of measurement error in using ambient concentrations as a proxy for personal exposures. Given the general consistency of findings across studies and the exposure-window-specific associations recently reported, the overall evidence for a causal association between air pollution and ASD is increasingly compelling. PMID:26399256

  6. Effect of plasma surface modification on the biocompatibility of UHMWPE.

    PubMed

    Kaklamani, G; Mehrban, N; Chen, J; Bowen, J; Dong, H; Grover, L; Stamboulis, A

    2010-10-01

    In this paper active screen plasma nitriding (ASPN) is used to chemically modify the surface of UHMWPE. This is an unexplored and new area of research. ASPN allows the homogeneous treatment of any shape or surface at low temperature; therefore, it was thought that ASPN would be an effective technique to modify organic polymer surfaces. ASPN experiments were carried out at 120 °C using a dc plasma nitriding unit with a 25% N(2) and 75% H(2) atmosphere at 2.5 mbar of pressure. UHMWPE samples treated for different time periods were characterized by nanoindentation, FTIR, XPS, interferometry and SEM. A 3T3 fibroblast cell line was used for in vitro cell culture experiments. Nanoindentation of UHMWPE showed that hardness and elastic modulus increased with ASPN treatment compared to the untreated material. FTIR spectra did not show significant differences between the untreated and treated samples; however, some changes were observed at 30 min of treatment in the range of 1500-1700 cm(-1) associated mainly with the presence of N-H groups. XPS studies showed that nitrogen was present on the surface and its amount increased with treatment time. Interferometry showed that no significant changes were observed on the surfaces after the treatment. Finally, cell culture experiments and SEM showed that fibroblasts attached and proliferated to a greater extent on the plasma-treated surfaces leading to the conclusion that ASPN surface treatment can potentially significantly improve the biocompatibility behaviour of polymeric materials. PMID:20876959

  7. Effecting Behavioral Modification in the Mentally Handicapped Student: Operant Conditioning and the Teacher's Role.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Education Dept., Albany. Div. for Handicapped Children.

    Presented are nine short papers concerning teacher role in effecting behavioral modification in the mentally handicapped student. The paper on functional analysis of behavior discusses use of reinforcers, changing reinforcer strength, reinforcement schedules, and discriminative stimuli. A continuation paper on functional analysis of behavior…

  8. Effects of Lexical Modification on Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition of Iranian EFL Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Negari, Giti Mousapour; Rouhi, Mahdieh

    2012-01-01

    The present article reports on the results of a study designed to investigate the effects of two types of lexical modification i.e., lexical simplification and elaboration, on incidental vocabulary acquisition of Iranian EFL learners.To this end, four versions of experimental texts containing 20 target words were created: baseline and simplified…

  9. Effect of the surface topographic modification on cytocompatibility of hardened calcium phosphate cement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiyan; He, Fupo; Ye, Jiandong

    2013-06-01

    As cells are inherently sensitive to local nanoscale patterns of topography, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of the topographic modification of hardened calcium phosphate cement on cell response which was conducted with MC3T3-E1 cells. The results exhibited that the samples with regular blade-like crystalline structure had better cell response (cell attachment, viability, proliferation and differentiation) compared to those with irregular blade-like crystalline structure. The method of topographic modification is promising for developing a novel biomaterial of hardened calcium phosphate cement for bone repair.

  10. Effect of adipic dihydrazide modification on the performance of collagen/hyaluronic acid scaffold.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Xiao, Yumei; Jiang, Bo; Fan, Hongsong; Zhang, Xingdong

    2010-02-01

    Collagen and hydrazide-functionalized hyaluronic acid derivatives were hybridized by gelating and genipin crosslinking to form composite hydrogel. The study contributed to the understanding of the effects of adipic dihydrazide modification on the physicochemical and biological properties of the collagen/hyaluronic acid scaffold. The investigation included morphology observation, mechanical measurement, swelling evaluation, and collagenase degradation. The results revealed that the stability of composites was increased through adipic dihydrazide modification and genipin crosslinking. The improved biocompatibility and retention of hyaluronic acid made the composite material more favorable to chondrocytes growing, suggesting the prepared scaffold might be high potential for chondrogenesis. PMID:19810117

  11. The effects of linguistic modification on ESL students' comprehension of nursing course test items.

    PubMed

    Bosher, Susan; Bowles, Melissa

    2008-01-01

    Recent research has indicated that language may be a source of construct-irrelevant variance for non-native speakers of English, or English as a second language (ESL) students, when they take exams. As a result, exams may not accurately measure knowledge of nursing content. One accommodation often used to level the playing field for ESL students is linguistic modification, a process by which the reading load of test items is reduced while the content and integrity of the item are maintained. Research on the effects of linguistic modification has been conducted on examinees in the K-12 population, but is just beginning in other areas. This study describes the collaborative process by which items from a pathophysiology exam were linguistically modified and subsequently evaluated for comprehensibility by ESL students. Findings indicate that in a majority of cases, modification improved examinees' comprehension of test items. Implications for test item writing and future research are discussed. PMID:18575241

  12. Effect of edge modification on the zigzag BC2N nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Xiang; Li, Hong; Tie, Jun; Lu, Jing

    2016-08-01

    We use first principles calculations to investigate the effects of edge modification with nonmetal species on zigzag-edged BC2N nanoribbons (ZBC2NNRs). These ZBC2NNRs show either semiconducting or metallic behaviors depending on the edge modifications and ribbon widths. We find that the O-modification induces a ferromagnetic ground state with a metallic behavior for all the ribbon widths investigated. And when the ribbon width is more than 3.32 nm (NZ ⩾ 16), an antiferromagnetic ground state with a half-metallic behavior is realized in the H-passivated ZBC2NNRs. These versatile electronic properties render the ZBC2NNRs a promising candidate material in nanoelectronics and nanospintronics.

  13. Investigation of the Effect of Oil Modification on Critical Characteristics of Asphalt Binders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golalipour, Amir

    Thermally induced cracking of asphalt pavement continues to be a serious issue in cold climate regions as well as in areas which experience extreme daily temperature differentials. Low temperature cracking of asphalt pavements is attributed to thermal stresses and strains developed during cooling cycles. Improving asphalt binder low temperature fracture and stiffness properties continues to be a subject of particular concern. Therefore, significant amount of research has been focused on improving asphalt binder properties through modification. In recent years, wide ranges of oil based modifications have been introduced to improve asphalt binder performance, especially at the low service temperatures. Although, significant use of these oils is seen in practice, knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of oil modification and their properties for achieving optimum characteristics is limited. Hence, this study focuses on better understanding of the effect of oil modifiers which would help better material selection and achieve optimum performance in terms of increasing the life span of pavements. In this study, the effect of oil modification on the rheological properties of the asphalt binder is investigated. To examine the effect of oil modification on binder characteristics, low temperature properties as well as high temperature performance of oil modified binders were evaluated. It is found that oils vary in their effects on asphalt binder performance. However, for all oils used in the study, adding an oil to binder can improve binder low temperature performance, and this result mainly attributed to the softening effect. In addition to that, a simple linear model is proposed to predict the performance grade of oil modified binder based on the properties of its constituents at high and low temperatures. Another part of this study focuses on the oil modification effect on asphalt binder thermal strain and stresses. A viscoelastic analytical procedure is combined with

  14. Acute effects of air pollution on pediatric asthma exacerbation: evidence of association and effect modification.

    PubMed

    Samoli, E; Nastos, P T; Paliatsos, A G; Katsouyanni, K; Priftis, K N

    2011-04-01

    We investigated the short-term effects of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <10 μg/m(3) (PM(10)), sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) and ozone (O(3)) on pediatric asthma emergency admissions in Athens, Greece over the period 2001-2004. We explored effect modification patterns by season, sex, age and by the presence of desert dust transported mainly from the Sahara area. We used daily time-series data provided by the children's hospitals and the fixed monitoring stations. The associations were investigated using Poisson regression models controlling for seasonality, weather, influenza episodes, day of the week and holiday effects. A 10 μg/m(3) increase in PM(10) was associated with a 2.54% increase (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.06%, 5.08%) in the number of pediatric asthma hospital admissions, while the same increase in SO(2) was associated with a 5.98% (95% CI: 0.88%, 11.33%) increase. O(3) was associated with a statistically significant increase in asthma admissions among older children in the summer. Our findings provide limited evidence of an association between NO(2) exposure and asthma exacerbation. Statistically significant PM(10) effects were higher during winter and during desert dust days, while SO(2) effects occurred mainly during spring. Our study confirms previously reported PM(10) effects on emergency hospital admissions for pediatric asthma and further provides evidence of stronger effects during desert dust days. We additionally report severe effects of SO(2), even at today's low concentration levels. PMID:21296347

  15. The Threshold of Embedded M Collider Bias and Confounding Bias

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelcey, Benjamin; Carlisle, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    Of particular import to this study, is collider bias originating from stratification on retreatment variables forming an embedded M or bowtie structural design. That is, rather than assume an M structural design which suggests that "X" is a collider but not a confounder, the authors adopt what they consider to be a more reasonable position and…

  16. Doubly robust methods for handling confounding by cluster.

    PubMed

    Zetterqvist, Johan; Vansteelandt, Stijn; Pawitan, Yudi; Sjölander, Arvid

    2016-04-01

    In clustered designs such as family studies, the exposure-outcome association is usually confounded by both cluster-constant and cluster-varying confounders. The influence of cluster-constant confounders can be eliminated by studying the exposure-outcome association within (conditional on) clusters, but additional regression modeling is usually required to control for observed cluster-varying confounders. A problem is that the working regression model may be misspecified, in which case the estimated within-cluster association may be biased. To reduce sensitivity to model misspecification we propose to augment the standard working model for the outcome with an auxiliary working model for the exposure. We derive a doubly robust conditional generalized estimating equation (DRCGEE) estimator for the within-cluster association. This estimator combines the two models in such a way that it is consistent if either model is correct, not necessarily both. Thus, the DRCGEE estimator gives the researcher two chances instead of only one to make valid inference on the within-cluster association. We have implemented the estimator in an R package and we use it to examine the association between smoking during pregnancy and cognitive abilities in offspring, in a sample of siblings. PMID:26508769

  17. Effects of Weak Surface Modification on Co/SiO2 Catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch Reaction

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Wensheng; Shen, Hehong; Jin, Yangfu; Yang, Xiazhen

    2015-01-01

    A weak surface modification is applied to Co/SiO2 catalyst by hydrothermal treatment at 180°C for 5 h. Aluminum is introduced to Co/SiO2 catalysts during the surface modification. The effects of surface modification on Co/SiO2 catalyst are studied by changing the operating sequences of surface modification and cobalt impregnation in the catalyst preparation. Surface modification before cobalt impregnation makes Co3O4 particle small and dispersed into the deep part of enlarged pore in SiO2, while surface modification after cobalt impregnation does not obviously change the particle size of Co3O4. The improved amplitude of catalytic activity is similar for the two kinds of catalysts, but they are benefited from different factors. The content of iso-hydrocarbons in the products is increased by the surface modifications. PMID:25938725

  18. Effects of Weak Surface Modification on Co/SiO2 Catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch Reaction.

    PubMed

    Ning, Wensheng; Shen, Hehong; Jin, Yangfu; Yang, Xiazhen

    2015-01-01

    A weak surface modification is applied to Co/SiO2 catalyst by hydrothermal treatment at 180°C for 5 h. Aluminum is introduced to Co/SiO2 catalysts during the surface modification. The effects of surface modification on Co/SiO2 catalyst are studied by changing the operating sequences of surface modification and cobalt impregnation in the catalyst preparation. Surface modification before cobalt impregnation makes Co3O4 particle small and dispersed into the deep part of enlarged pore in SiO2, while surface modification after cobalt impregnation does not obviously change the particle size of Co3O4. The improved amplitude of catalytic activity is similar for the two kinds of catalysts, but they are benefited from different factors. The content of iso-hydrocarbons in the products is increased by the surface modifications. PMID:25938725

  19. Reducing Bias Amplification in the Presence of Unmeasured Confounding Through Out-of-Sample Estimation Strategies for the Disease Risk Score

    PubMed Central

    Wyss, Richard; Lunt, Mark; Brookhart, M. Alan; Glynn, Robert J.; Stürmer, Til

    2014-01-01

    The prognostic score, or disease risk score (DRS), is a summary score that is used to control for confounding in non-experimental studies. While the DRS has been shown to effectively control for measured confounders, unmeasured confounding continues to be a fundamental obstacle in non-experimental research. Both theory and simulations have shown that in the presence of unmeasured confounding, controlling for variables that affect treatment (both instrumental variables and measured confounders) amplifies the bias caused by unmeasured confounders. In this paper, we use causal diagrams and path analysis to review and illustrate the process of bias amplification. We show that traditional estimation strategies for the DRS do not avoid bias amplification when controlling for predictors of treatment. We then discuss estimation strategies for the DRS that can potentially reduce bias amplification that is caused by controlling both instrumental variables and measured confounders. We show that under certain assumptions, estimating the DRS in populations outside the defined study cohort where treatment has not been introduced, or in outside populations with reduced treatment prevalence can control for the confounding effects of measured confounders while at the same time reduce bias amplification. PMID:25313347

  20. Autonomic Effects of Controlled Fine Particulate Exposure in Young Healthy Adults: Effect Modification by Ozone

    PubMed Central

    Fakhri, Asghar A.; Ilic, Ljubomir M.; Wellenius, Gregory A.; Urch, Bruce; Silverman, Frances; Gold, Diane R.; Mittleman, Murray A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Human controlled-exposure studies have assessed the impact of ambient fine particulate matter on cardiac autonomic function measured by heart rate variability (HRV), but whether these effects are modified by concomitant ozone exposure remains unknown. Objective In this study we assessed the impact of O3 and particulate matter exposure on HRV in humans. Methods In a crossover design, 50 subjects (19–48 years of age) were randomized to 2-hr controlled exposures to filtered air (FA), concentrated ambient particles (CAPs), O3, or combined CAPs and ozone (CAPs + O3). The primary end point was change in HRV between the start and end of exposure. Secondary analyses included blood pressure (BP) responses, and effect modification by asthmatic status. Results Achieved mean CAPs and O3 exposure concentrations were 121.6 ± 48.0 μg/m3 and 113.9 ± 6.6 ppb, respectively. In a categorical analysis, exposure had no consistent effect on HRV indices. However, the dose–response relationship between CAPs mass concentration and HRV indices seemed to vary depending on the presence of O3. This heterogeneity was statistically significant for the low-frequency component of HRV (p = 0.02) and approached significance for the high-frequency component and time-domain measures of HRV. Exposure to CAPs + O3 increased diastolic BP by 2.0 mmHg (SE, 1.2; p = 0.02). No other statistically significant changes in BP were observed. Asthmatic status did not modify these effects. Conclusion The potentiation by O3 of CAPs effects on diastolic BP and possibly HRV is of small magnitude in young adults. Further studies are needed to assess potential effects in more vulnerable populations. PMID:19672410

  1. 77 FR 59241 - Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin of the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-26

    ... of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin of the Dominican... Representative. ACTION: Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin...''). SUMMARY: Public Law 112-163 modified the rules of origin for certain textile and apparel goods of...

  2. The Effect of Acetaminophen on Oxidative Modification of Low-Density Lipoproteins in Hypercholesterolemic Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Özsoy, Meral Baş; Pabuçcuoğlu, Aysun

    2007-01-01

    Oxidative modification of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) contributes to the pathology of atherosclerosis. Antioxidants may protect LDL against oxidative modification. Acetaminophen, a widely used analgesic and antipyretic agent, has significant antioxidant properties. However, there is little evidence to suggest that acetaminophen acts as an antioxidant for LDL oxidation in vivo. In this study, we investigated the in vivo effect of acetaminophen on LDL oxidation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. The oxidative modification of LDL was identified by conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). In the cholesterol group which rabbits were fed a diet contained 1% g cholesterol for 8 weeks, TBARS contents and conjugated diene levels in the plasma and isolated LDL samples significantly increased compared with the control rabbits (p<0.05). However, in the cholesterol + acetaminophen group, the TBARS contents and conjugated diene levels were significantly lower than that of the cholesterol group (p<0.05). The results from in vitro studies also demonstrated that the LDL isolated from serum was oxidized by Cu++ ions and this oxidation reduced in the presence of acetaminophen. The reduced oxidative modification of LDL by acetaminophen may be of therapeutic value in preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis. PMID:18392104

  3. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Yue, Chanjuan; Chen, Jin; Hou, Ranran; Liu, Jie; Li, Xiuping; Gao, Zhenzhen; Liu, Cui; Wang, Deyun; Lu, Yu; Li, Hongquan; Hu, Yuanliang

    2015-01-01

    The selenylation modification of Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) was conducted by the HNO3-Na2SeO3 method respectively under nine conditions according to L9(34) orthogonal design. Nine selenizing SCPs, sSCP1-sSCP9, were obtained, and their antioxidant activities were compared. In vitro test, the free radical-scavenging rates of nine sSCPs were determined for DPPH., .OH and ABTS+. sSCP1 presented the most significant effect, and could inhibit the nonenzymatic protein glycation. In vivo test, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sSCP1 and SCP, the serum contents of CAT, SOD and MDA were determined. The result showed that as compared with the SCP group, the SOD and CAT activities were significantly or numerically raised and MDA content was significantly or numerically lowered in the sSCP1 group. These results indicate that selenylation modification can significantly enhance the antioxidant and antiglycative activity of SCP in vitro or in vivo. sSCP1 possesses the best efficacy and its modification conditions can be as optimal modification conditions that were 200 mg of Na2SeO3 for 500 mg of SCP, reaction temperature of 50°C and reaction time of 6 h. PMID:26230941

  4. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Chanjuan; Chen, Jin; Hou, Ranran; Liu, Jie; Li, Xiuping; Gao, Zhenzhen; Liu, Cui; Wang, Deyun; Lu, Yu; Li, Hongquan; Hu, Yuanliang

    2015-01-01

    The selenylation modification of Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) was conducted by the HNO3–Na2SeO3 method respectively under nine conditions according to L9(34) orthogonal design. Nine selenizing SCPs, sSCP1–sSCP9, were obtained, and their antioxidant activities were compared. In vitro test, the free radical-scavenging rates of nine sSCPs were determined for DPPH., .OH and ABTS+. sSCP1 presented the most significant effect, and could inhibit the nonenzymatic protein glycation. In vivo test, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sSCP1 and SCP, the serum contents of CAT, SOD and MDA were determined. The result showed that as compared with the SCP group, the SOD and CAT activities were significantly or numerically raised and MDA content was significantly or numerically lowered in the sSCP1 group. These results indicate that selenylation modification can significantly enhance the antioxidant and antiglycative activity of SCP in vitro or in vivo. sSCP1 possesses the best efficacy and its modification conditions can be as optimal modification conditions that were 200 mg of Na2SeO3 for 500 mg of SCP, reaction temperature of 50°C and reaction time of 6 h. PMID:26230941

  5. Carbon nanotubes toxicology and effects on metabolism and immunological modification in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiaretti, M.; Mazzanti, G.; Bosco, S.; Bellucci, S.; Cucina, A.; LeFoche, F.; Carru, G. A.; Mastrangelo, S.; Di Sotto, A.; Masciangelo, R.; Chiaretti, A. M.; Balasubramanian, C.; DeBellis, G.; Micciulla, F.; Porta, N.; Deriu, G.; Tiberia, A.

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this research is focused on the biological effects of multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on three different human cell types, laboratory animals in vivo, and immunological effects. Large numbers of researchers are directly involved in the handling of nanostructured materials such as MWCNTs and nanoparticles. It is important to assess the potential health risks related to their daily exposure to carbon nanotubes. The administration of sterilized nanosamples has been performed on laboratory animals, in both acute and chronic administration, and the pathological effects on the parenchymal tissues have been investigated. We studied the serum immunological modifications after intraperitoneal administration of the MWCNTs. We did not observe any antigenic reaction; the screening of ANA, anti-ENA, anti-cardiolipin, C-ANCA and P-ANCA was negative. No quantitative modification of immunoglobulins was observed, hence no modification of humoral immunity was documented. We also studied the effects of MWCNTs on the proliferation of three different cell types. MCF-7 showed a significant inhibition of proliferation for all conditions studied, whereas hSMCs demonstrated a reduction of cell growth only for the highest MWCNTs concentrations after 72 h. Also, no growth modification was observed in the Caco-2 cell line. We observed that a low quantity of MWCNTs does not provoke any inflammatory reaction. However, for future medical applications, it is important to realize prosthesis based on MWCNTs, through studying the corresponding implantation effects. Moreover, it has to be emphasized that this investigation does not address, at the moment, the carcinogenicity of MWCNTs, which requires a detailed follow-up investigation on the specific topic. In view of the subsequent and more extensive use of MWCNTs, especially in applications where carbon nanotubes are injected into the human body for drug delivery, as a contrast agent carrying entities for MRI, or as the basic

  6. The importance of scale for spatial-confounding bias and precision of spatial regression estimators

    PubMed Central

    Paciorek, Christopher J

    2010-01-01

    Residuals in regression models are often spatially correlated. Prominent examples include studies in environmental epidemiology to understand the chronic health effects of pollutants. I consider the effects of residual spatial structure on the bias and precision of regression coefficients, developing a simple framework in which to understand the key issues and derive informative analytic results. When unmeasured confounding introduces spatial structure into the residuals, regression models with spatial random effects and closely-related models such as kriging and penalized splines are biased, even when the residual variance components are known. Analytic and simulation results show how the bias depends on the spatial scales of the covariate and the residual: one can reduce bias by fitting a spatial model only when there is variation in the covariate at a scale smaller than the scale of the unmeasured confounding. I also discuss how the scales of the residual and the covariate affect efficiency and uncertainty estimation when the residuals are independent of the covariate. In an application on the association between black carbon particulate matter air pollution and birth weight, controlling for large-scale spatial variation appears to reduce bias from unmeasured confounders, while increasing uncertainty in the estimated pollution effect. PMID:21528104

  7. Effect of bentonite modification on hardness and mechanical properties of natural rubber nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, Denise Ester O.; Pajarito, Bryan B.; Mangaccat, Winna Faye F.; Tigue, Maelyn Rose M.; Tipton, Monica T.

    2016-05-01

    The effect of sodium activation, ion-exchange with tertiary amine salt, surface treatment with non-ionic surfactant, and wet grinding of bentonite on hardness and mechanical properties of natural rubber nanocomposites (NRN) was studied using full factorial design of experiment. Results of X-ray diffraction (XRD) show increase in basal spacing d of bentonite due to modification, while attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) confirm the organic modification of bentonite. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows that the main effect of surface treatment increases the hardness and decreases the tensile modulus of the NRN. The surface treatment and wet grinding of bentonite decrease the tensile stresses at 100, 200 and 300% strain of NRN. Sodium activation and ion-exchange negatively affect the compressive properties, while surface treatment significantly improves the compressive properties of NRN.

  8. Heat Waves in the United States: Mortality Risk during Heat Waves and Effect Modification by Heat Wave Characteristics in 43 U.S. Communities

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, G. Brooke; Bell, Michelle L.

    2011-01-01

    Background Devastating health effects from recent heat waves, and projected increases in frequency, duration, and severity of heat waves from climate change, highlight the importance of understanding health consequences of heat waves. Objectives We analyzed mortality risk for heat waves in 43 U.S. cities (1987–2005) and investigated how effects relate to heat waves’ intensity, duration, or timing in season. Methods Heat waves were defined as ≥ 2 days with temperature ≥ 95th percentile for the community for 1 May through 30 September. Heat waves were characterized by their intensity, duration, and timing in season. Within each community, we estimated mortality risk during each heat wave compared with non-heat wave days, controlling for potential confounders. We combined individual heat wave effect estimates using Bayesian hierarchical modeling to generate overall effects at the community, regional, and national levels. We estimated how heat wave mortality effects were modified by heat wave characteristics (intensity, duration, timing in season). Results Nationally, mortality increased 3.74% [95% posterior interval (PI), 2.29–5.22%] during heat waves compared with non-heat wave days. Heat wave mortality risk increased 2.49% for every 1°F increase in heat wave intensity and 0.38% for every 1-day increase in heat wave duration. Mortality increased 5.04% (95% PI, 3.06–7.06%) during the first heat wave of the summer versus 2.65% (95% PI, 1.14–4.18%) during later heat waves, compared with non-heat wave days. Heat wave mortality impacts and effect modification by heat wave characteristics were more pronounced in the Northeast and Midwest compared with the South. Conclusions We found higher mortality risk from heat waves that were more intense or longer, or those occurring earlier in summer. These findings have implications for decision makers and researchers estimating health effects from climate change. PMID:21084239

  9. Prenatal Paracetamol Exposure and Wheezing in Childhood: Causation or Confounding?

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, Enrica; Zugna, Daniela; Galassi, Claudia; Merletti, Franco; Gagliardi, Luigi; Rasero, Laura; Trevisan, Morena; Rusconi, Franca; Richiardi, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Background Several studies have reported an increased risk of wheezing in the children of mothers who used paracetamol during pregnancy. We evaluated to what extent this association is explained by confounding. Methods We investigated the association between maternal paracetamol use in the first and third trimester of pregnancy and ever wheezing or recurrent wheezing/asthma in infants in the NINFEA cohort study. Risks ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated after adjustment for confounders, including maternal infections and antibiotic use during pregnancy. Results The prevalence of maternal paracetamol use was 30.6% during the first and 36.7% during the third trimester of pregnancy. The prevalence of ever wheezing and recurrent wheezing/asthma was 16.9% and 5.6%, respectively. After full adjustment, the RR for ever wheezing decreased from 1.25 [1.07–1.47] to 1.10 [0.94–1.30] in the first, and from 1.26 [1.08–1.47] to 1.10 [0.93–1.29] in the third trimester. A similar pattern was observed for recurrent wheezing/asthma. Duration of maternal paracetamol use was not associated with either outcome. Further analyses on paracetamol use for three non-infectious disorders (sciatica, migraine, and headache) revealed no increased risk of wheezing in children. Conclusion The association between maternal paracetamol use during pregnancy and infant wheezing is mainly, if not completely explained by confounding. PMID:26305473

  10. Mediation Analysis With Intermediate Confounding: Structural Equation Modeling Viewed Through the Causal Inference Lens

    PubMed Central

    De Stavola, Bianca L.; Daniel, Rhian M.; Ploubidis, George B.; Micali, Nadia

    2015-01-01

    The study of mediation has a long tradition in the social sciences and a relatively more recent one in epidemiology. The first school is linked to path analysis and structural equation models (SEMs), while the second is related mostly to methods developed within the potential outcomes approach to causal inference. By giving model-free definitions of direct and indirect effects and clear assumptions for their identification, the latter school has formalized notions intuitively developed in the former and has greatly increased the flexibility of the models involved. However, through its predominant focus on nonparametric identification, the causal inference approach to effect decomposition via natural effects is limited to settings that exclude intermediate confounders. Such confounders are naturally dealt with (albeit with the caveats of informality and modeling inflexibility) in the SEM framework. Therefore, it seems pertinent to revisit SEMs with intermediate confounders, armed with the formal definitions and (parametric) identification assumptions from causal inference. Here we investigate: 1) how identification assumptions affect the specification of SEMs, 2) whether the more restrictive SEM assumptions can be relaxed, and 3) whether existing sensitivity analyses can be extended to this setting. Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (1990–2005) are used for illustration. PMID:25504026

  11. Effects of Surface Modification Conditions on Hydrophobicity of Silica-based Coating Additives

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, Beth L; Pawel, Steven J; Hunter, Scott Robert; Haynes, James A; Hillesheim, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Superhydrophobic silica (SHS) powders are being evaluated as a potential additive to the polyurethane topcoats used in Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) systems, with the goal of improving water repellency and corrosion protection characteristics. The current generation of CARC topcoats is already highly loaded with solids, and thus there is a premium on minimization of the total SHS powder required to achieve the desired properties. Therefore, efficient surface modification of the silica and proper dispersion in the coating will be required. The effect of a dispersant on the surface modification of silica particles by chlorosilanes was addressed in this study. The properties of various SHS powders were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and mass spectroscopy. Correlations between powder modification conditions and the ultimate effects of the modified particles on hydrophobicity of CARC topcoats were assessed. The use of contact and rolling angle measurements along with scanning electron microscopy are discussed as they pertain to the ability to quantify the effects of modified silicas on corrosion prevention coatings. Furthermore, a systematic approach to modifying and testing both powders and top coats of corrosion prevention systems is presented.

  12. Effect of substituents and structural modification on conformational equilibrium in bis-quinolizidine system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wysocka, Waleria; Brukwicki, Tadeusz; Włodarczak, Jacek

    2012-06-01

    On the basis of literature interpretation of 13C NMR and 1H NMR spectra of bis-quinolizidine alkaloids, the values of free enthalpy ΔG of conformational equilibria of those compounds were calculated. The results were analysed together with the X-ray and DFT data to discuss the effects of different substituents attached to the sparteine system in various positions as well as the effects of structural modifications on conformational equilibria. The measure of the effect was expressed by ΔΔG value, defined as the difference in ΔG of the compound under consideration and its parent compound without a given substituent.

  13. Threats to internal validity in exercise science: a review of overlooked confounding variables.

    PubMed

    Halperin, Israel; Pyne, David B; Martin, David T

    2015-10-01

    Internal validity refers to the degree of control exerted over potential confounding variables to reduce alternative explanations for the effects of various treatments. In exercise and sports-science research and routine testing, internal validity is commonly achieved by controlling variables such as exercise and warm-up protocols, prior training, nutritional intake before testing, ambient temperature, time of testing, hours of sleep, age, and gender. However, a number of other potential confounding variables often do not receive adequate attention in sports physiology and performance research. These confounding variables include instructions on how to perform the test, volume and frequency of verbal encouragement, knowledge of exercise endpoint, number and gender of observers in the room, influence of music played before and during testing, and the effects of mental fatigue on performance. In this review the authors discuss these variables in relation to common testing environments in exercise and sports science and present some recommendations with the goal of reducing possible threats to internal validity. PMID:25756869

  14. Effects of oxidative modification on thermal aggregation and gel properties of soy protein by malondialdehyde.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Hua, Yufei; Lin, Qinlu

    2014-03-01

    Malondialdehyde (MDA) was selected as a representative of lipid peroxidation products to investigate the effects of oxidative modification on thermal aggregation and gel properties of soy protein by lipid peroxidation products. Incubation of soy protein with increasing concentration of MDA resulted in gradual decrease of particle size and content of thermal aggregates during heat denaturation. Oxidative modification by MDA resulted in a decrease in water holding capacity, gel hardness, and gel strength of soy protein gel. An increase in coarseness and interstice of MDA modified protein gel network was accompanied by uneven distribution of interstice as MDA concentration increased. The results showed that degree of thermal aggregation of MDA-modified soy protein gradually decreased as MDA concentration increased, which contributed to a decrease in water holding capacity, gel hardness, and gel strength of MDA-modified soy protein gel. PMID:24587523

  15. The effects of equipment modification on children's self-efficacy and basketball shooting performance.

    PubMed

    Chase, M A; Ewing, M E; Lirgg, C D; George, T R

    1994-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of modification of basketball size and basket height on shooting performance and self-efficacy of girls and boys 9 to 12 years of age. Subjects (N = 74) completed a self-efficacy questionnaire before and after shooting 10 baskets under four conditions. Shooting conditions were a combination of basketball size (women's or men's) and basket height (10 or 8 ft). Repeated measures analyses of variance indicated that children made more baskets and had higher shooting scores at the 8-ft basket than the 10-ft basket. This was especially evident for girls and 9- and 10-year-old children. Self-efficacy was higher prior to shooting, and boys had higher self-efficacy than girls. Self-efficacy was highest when children shot at the 8-ft basket. These results indicated that basket height modification can positively influence children's shooting performance and self-efficacy. PMID:8047708

  16. Structual Effects of Cytidine 2^' Ribose Modifications as Determined by Irmpd Action Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamlow, Lucas; He, Chenchen; Fan, Lin; Wu, Ranran; Yang, Bo; Rodgers, M. T.; Berden, Giel; Oomens, J.

    2015-06-01

    Modified nucleosides, both naturally occurring and synthetic play an important role in understanding and manipulating RNA and DNA. Naturally occurring modified nucleosides are commonly found in functionally important regions of RNA and also affect antibiotic resistance or sensitivity. Synthetic modifications of nucleosides such as fluorinated and arabinosyl nucleosides have found uses as anti-virals and chemotherapy agents. Understanding the effect that modifications have on structure and glycosidic bond stability may lend insight into the functions of these modified nucleosides. Modifications such as the naturally occurring 2^'-O-methylation and the synthetic 2^'-fluorination are believed to help stabilize the nucleoside through the glycosidic bond stability and intramolecular hydrogen bonding. Changing the sugar from ribose to arabinose alters the stereochemistry at the 2^' position and thus shifts the 3D orientation of the 2^'-hydroxyl group, which also affects intramolecular hydrogen bonding and glycosidic bond stability. The structures of 2^'-deoxy-2^'-fluorocytidine, 2^'-O-methylcytidine and cytosine arabinoside are examined in the current work by measuring the infrared spectra in the IR fingerprint region using infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy. The structures accessed in the experiments were determined via comparison of the measured IRMPD action spectra to the theoretical linear IR spectra determined by density functional theory and molecular modeling for the stable low-energy structures. Although glycosidic bond stability cannot be quantitatively determined from this data, complementary TCID studies will establish the effect of these modifications. Comparison of these modified nucleosides with their RNA and DNA analogues will help elucidate differences in their intrinsic chemistry.

  17. Effects of tooth profile modification on dynamic responses of a high speed gear-rotor-bearing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zehua; Tang, Jinyuan; Zhong, Jue; Chen, Siyu; Yan, Haiyan

    2016-08-01

    A finite element node dynamic model of a high speed gear-rotor-bearing system considering the time-varying mesh stiffness, backlash, gyroscopic effect and transmission error excitation is developed. Different tooth profile modifications are introduced into the gear pair and corresponding time-varying mesh stiffness curves are obtained. Effects of the tooth profile modification on mesh stiffness are analyzed, and the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the gear-rotor-bearing transmission system are given. The dynamic responses with respect to a wide input speed region including dynamic factor, vibration amplitude near the bearing and dynamic transmission error are obtained by introducing the time-varying mesh stiffness in different tooth profile modification cases into the gear-rotor-bearing dynamic system. Effects of the tooth profile modification on the dynamic responses are studied in detail. The numerical simulation results show that both the short profile modification and the long profile modification can affect the mutation of the mesh stiffness when the number of engaging tooth pairs changes. A short profile modification with an appropriate modification amount can improve the dynamic property of the system in certain work condition.

  18. Treatment Modifications and Treatment-Limiting Toxicities or Side Effects: Risk Factors and Temporal Trends.

    PubMed

    Pantazis, Nikos; Psichogiou, Mina; Paparizos, Vassilios; Gargalianos, Panagiotis; Chini, Maria; Protopapas, Konstantinos; Sipsas, Nikolaos V; Panos, George; Chrysos, George; Sambatakou, Helen; Katsarou, Olga; Touloumi, Giota

    2015-07-01

    Combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) modifications are often required due to treatment failure or side effects. We investigate cART regimens' durability, frequency of treatment-limiting adverse events, and potential risk factors and temporal trends. Data were derived from the Athens Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (AMACS). Statistical analyses were based on survival techniques, allowing for multiple contributions per individual. Overall, 2,756 individuals, aged >15 years, initiated cART. cART regimens were grouped by their initiation date into four calendar periods (1995-1998, 1999-2002, 2003-2006, and 2007+). Median [95% confidence interval (CI)] time to first treatment modification was 2.11 (1.95-2.33) years; cumulative probabilities at 1 year were 31.6%, 29.0%, 33.1%, and 29.6% for the four periods, respectively. cART modifications were less frequent in more recent years (adjusted HR=0.96 per year; p<0.001). Longer treatment duration was associated with lower HIV-RNA, higher CD4 counts, and being previously ART naive. cART modifications due to treatment failure became less frequent in recent years (adjusted HR=0.91 per year; p<0.001). Estimated (95% CI) 1 year cumulative probabilities of treatment-limiting side effects were 16.4% (12.0-21.3%), 19.3% (15.6-23.3%), 24.9% (20.3-29.7%), and 21.1% (13.4-29.9%) for the four periods, respectively, with no significant temporal trends. Risk of side effects was lower in nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens or triple nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-based cART regimens. Treatment modifications have become less frequent in more recent years. This could be partly attributed to the lower risk for side effects of NNRTI-based cART regimens and mainly to the improved efficacy of newer drugs. However, the rate of drugs substitutions due to adverse events remains substantially high. PMID:25950848

  19. An assessment of the possible extent of confounding in epidemiological studies of lung cancer risk among roofers

    SciTech Connect

    Mundt, D.J.; van Wijngaarden, E.; Mundt, K.A.

    2007-07-01

    We evaluated the likelihood and extent to which the observed increased risk of lung cancer may be due to confounding (a mixing of effects of multiple exposures) by co-exposure to other potential carcinogens present in roofing or to lifestyle variables. We conducted a review of the epidemiological and industrial hygiene literature of asphalt-exposed workers. Peer-reviewed epidemiological studies of asphalt fumes, related occupational exposures, and confounding factors were identified from MEDLINE (1966 early 2004). Industrial hygiene studies of asphalt workers were identified through MEDLINE, publicly available government documents, and asphalt industry documents. Using well established statistical methods, we quantified the extent to which lung cancer relative risk estimates among roofers reflect confounding from other exposures, using different prevalence and risk scenarios. The relative risk of lung cancer varied from 1.2 to 5.0 in 13 epidemiological studies of roofers; most studies reported a relative risk between 1.2 and 1.4. Smoking, asbestos and coal tar were the most likely confounders, but the prevalence of these factors varied over time. The results of the study indicate that much of the observed risk reported in epidemiological studies of cancer among roofers is well within the range of what may have resulted from confounding by reasonable and expected levels of smoking, asbestos or coal tar. This may be particularly true for those studies that did not adjust for these confounders and where the exposure was defined as employment in the roofing industry. In addition to poorly defined asphalt exposure, uncontrolled confounding cannot reliably be ruled out in studies of lung cancer among asphalt-exposed roofers. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude whether roofers are at increased risk of lung cancer due to asphalt exposure.

  20. Reporting phenotypes in mouse models when considering body size as a potential confounder.

    PubMed

    Oellrich, Anika; Meehan, Terrence F; Parkinson, Helen; Sarntivijai, Sirarat; White, Jacqueline K; Karp, Natasha A

    2016-01-01

    Genotype-phenotype studies aim to identify causative relationships between genes and phenotypes. The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium is a high throughput phenotyping program whose goal is to collect phenotype data for a knockout mouse strain of every protein coding gene. The scale of the project requires an automatic analysis pipeline to detect abnormal phenotypes, and disseminate the resulting gene-phenotype annotation data into public resources. A body weight phenotype is a common result of knockout studies. As body weight correlates with many other biological traits, this challenges the interpretation of related gene-phenotype associations. Co-correlation can lead to gene-phenotype associations that are potentially misleading. Here we use statistical modelling to account for body weight as a potential confounder to assess the impact. We find that there is a considerable impact on previously established gene-phenotype associations due to an increase in sensitivity as well as the confounding effect. We investigated the existing ontologies to represent this phenotypic information and we explored ways to ontologically represent the results of the influence of confounders on gene-phenotype associations. With the scale of data being disseminated within the high throughput programs and the range of downstream studies that utilise these data, it is critical to consider how we improve the quality of the disseminated data and provide a robust ontological representation. PMID:26865945

  1. The effect of hypusine modification on the intracellular localization of eIF5A

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Seung Bum; Park, Jong Hwan; Kaevel, Joern; Sramkova, Monika; Weigert, Roberto; Park, Myung Hee

    2009-06-12

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is a highly conserved protein essential for eukaryotic cell proliferation and is the only protein containing hypusine, [N{sup {epsilon}}-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine]. eIF5A is activated by the post-translational synthesis of hypusine. eIF5A also undergoes an acetylation at specific Lys residue(s). In this study, we have investigated the effect of hypusine modification and acetylation on the subcellular localization of eIF5A. Immunocytochemical analyses showed differences in the distribution of non-hypusinated eIF5A precursor and the hypusine-containing mature eIF5A. While the precursor is found in both cytoplasm and nucleus, the hypusinated eIF5A is primarily localized in cytoplasm. eIF5A mutant proteins, defective in hypusine modification (K50A, K50R) were localized in a similar manner to the eIF5A precursor, whereas hypusine-modified mutant proteins (K47A, K47R, K68A) were localized mainly in the cytoplasm. These findings provide strong evidence that the hypusine modification of eIF5A dictates its localization in the cytoplasmic compartment where it is required for protein synthesis.

  2. The effect of hypusine modification on the intracellular localization of eIF5A

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung Bum; Park, Jong Hwan; Kaevel, Jorn; Sramkova, Monika; Weigert, Roberto; Park, Myung Hee

    2009-01-01

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is a highly conserved protein essential for eukaryotic cell proliferation and is the only protein containing hypusine, [Nε-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine]. eIF5A is activated by the posttranslational synthesis of hypusine. eIF5A also undergoes an acetylation at specific Lys residue(s). In this study, we have investigated the effect of hypusine modification and acetylation on the subcellular localization of eIF5A. Immunocytochemical analyses showed differences in the distribution of non-hypusinated eIF5A precursor and the hypusine-containing mature eIF5A. While the precursor is found in both cytoplasm and nucleus, the hypusinated eIF5A is primarily localized in cytoplasm. eIF5A mutant proteins, defective in hypusine modification (K50A, K50R) were localized in a similar manner to the eIF5A precursor, whereas hypusine-modified mutant proteins (K47A, K47R, K68A) were localized mainly in the cytoplasm. These findings provide strong evidence that the hypusine modification of eIF5A dictates its localization in the cytoplasmic compartment where it is required for protein synthesis. PMID:19379712

  3. Effect of Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Modification on Polyimide and Adhesive Joining with Titanium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, M.; Jansen, K. M. B.; Ernst, L. J.; Bhowmik, S.; Ajeesh, G.; Ahmed, S.; Chakraborty, D.

    2015-10-01

    This investigation highlights the effect of surface modification on polyimide by atmospheric pressure plasma treatment with different exposure time. Surface modification of polymer by plasma treatment essentially creates physical and chemical changes such as cross-linking and formation of free radicals. It also forms oxygen functionalization in the form of polar groups on polymer surface, hence improving the wetting and adhesion properties. It is observed that surface energy of the polymer increases with increasing exposure time of atmospheric pressure plasma. However, prolonged exposure time of plasma results in deterioration of the surface layer of polyimide resulting in degradation and embrittlement. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy analysis reveal that there is a considerable morphological change on the polymer surface due to atmospheric pressure plasma treatment. X-ray photo electron spectroscopy analysis reveals that the oxygen functionalities of polymer surface increases significantly when polyimide is exposed to atmospheric pressure plasma. Untreated and atmospheric pressure plasma-treated polyimide sheet are adhesive bonded by employing polyimide adhesive as well as with titanium substrate. Due to surface modification of polyimide, it is observed that there is a significant increase in lap shear tensile strength, and therefore, this technology is highly acceptable for aviation and space applications.

  4. Effect of Lysine Modification on the Stability and Cellular Binding of Human Amyloidogenic Light Chains

    SciTech Connect

    O'Neill, Hugh Michael; Davern, Sandra M.; Murphy, Charles L.; Wall, Jonathan; Deborah, Weiss T.; Solomon, Alan

    2011-01-01

    AL amyloidosis is characterized by the pathologic deposition as fibrils of monoclonal light chains (i.e., Bence Jones proteins [BJPs]) in particular organs and tissues. This phenomenon has been attributed to the presence in amyloidogenic proteins of particular amino acids that cause these molecules to become unstable, as well as post-translational modifications and, in regard to the latter, we have investigated the effect of biotinylation of lysyl residues on cell binding. We utilized an experimental system designed to test if BJPs obtained from patients with AL amyloidosis or, as a control, multiple myeloma (MM), bound human fibroblasts and renal epithelial cells. As documented by fluorescent microscopy and ELISA, the amyloidogenic BJPs, as compared with MM components, bound preferentially and this reactivity increased significantly after chemical modification of their lysyl residues with sulfo-NHS-biotin. Further, based on tryptophan fluorescence and circular dichorism data, it was apparent that their conformation was altered, which we hypothesize exposed a binding site not accessible on the native protein. The results of our studies indicate that post-translational structural modifications of pathologic light chains can enhance their capacity for cellular interaction and thus may contribute to the pathogenesis of AL amyloidosis and multiple myeloma.

  5. Evaluating Public Health Interventions: 3. The Two-Stage Design for Confounding Bias Reduction—Having Your Cake and Eating It Two

    PubMed Central

    Spiegelman, Donna; Rivera-Rodriguez, Claudia L.; Haneuse, Sebastien

    2016-01-01

    In public health evaluations, confounding bias in the estimate of the intervention effect will typically threaten the validity of the findings. It is a common misperception that the only way to avoid this bias is to measure detailed, high-quality data on potential confounders for every intervention participant, but this strategy for adjusting for confounding bias is often infeasible. Rather than ignoring confounding altogether, the two-phase design and analysis—in which detailed high-quality confounding data are obtained among a small subsample—can be considered. We describe the two-stage design and analysis approach, and illustrate its use in the evaluation of an intervention conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, of an enhanced community health worker program to improve antenatal care uptake. PMID:27285260

  6. Evaluating Public Health Interventions: 3. The Two-Stage Design for Confounding Bias Reduction-Having Your Cake and Eating It Two.

    PubMed

    Spiegelman, Donna; Rivera-Rodriguez, Claudia L; Haneuse, Sebastien

    2016-07-01

    In public health evaluations, confounding bias in the estimate of the intervention effect will typically threaten the validity of the findings. It is a common misperception that the only way to avoid this bias is to measure detailed, high-quality data on potential confounders for every intervention participant, but this strategy for adjusting for confounding bias is often infeasible. Rather than ignoring confounding altogether, the two-phase design and analysis-in which detailed high-quality confounding data are obtained among a small subsample-can be considered. We describe the two-stage design and analysis approach, and illustrate its use in the evaluation of an intervention conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, of an enhanced community health worker program to improve antenatal care uptake. PMID:27285260

  7. Differential effects of cocaine on histone posttranslational modifications in identified populations of striatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Jordi, Emmanuelle; Heiman, Myriam; Marion-Poll, Lucile; Guermonprez, Pierre; Cheng, Shuk Kei; Nairn, Angus C; Greengard, Paul; Girault, Jean-Antoine

    2013-06-01

    Drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, induce changes in gene expression and epigenetic marks including alterations in histone posttranslational modifications in striatal neurons. These changes are thought to participate in physiological memory mechanisms and to be critical for long-term behavioral alterations. However, the striatum is composed of multiple cell types, including two distinct populations of medium-sized spiny neurons, and little is known concerning the cell-type specificity of epigenetic modifications. To address this question we used bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice, which express EGFP fused to the N-terminus of the large subunit ribosomal protein L10a driven by the D1 or D2 dopamine receptor (D1R, D2R) promoter, respectively. Fluorescence in nucleoli was used to sort nuclei from D1R- or D2R-expressing neurons and to quantify by flow cytometry the cocaine-induced changes in histone acetylation and methylation specifically in these two types of nuclei. The two populations of medium-sized spiny neurons displayed different patterns of histone modifications 15 min or 24 h after a single injection of cocaine or 24 h after seven daily injections. In particular, acetylation of histone 3 on Lys 14 and of histone 4 on Lys 5 and 12, and methylation of histone 3 on Lys 9 exhibited distinct and persistent changes in the two cell types. Our data provide insights into the differential epigenetic responses to cocaine in D1R- and D2R-positive neurons and their potential regulation, which may participate in the persistent effects of cocaine in these neurons. The method described should have general utility for studying nuclear modifications in different types of neuronal or nonneuronal cell types. PMID:23690581

  8. Thermal effects on the Ga+ ion beam induced structural modification of a-SiC:H

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsvetkova, T.; Wright, C. D.; Craciun, M. F.; Bischoff, L.; Angelov, O.; Dimova-Malinovska, D.

    2012-12-01

    The effects of implantation temperature and post-implantation thermal annealing on the Ga+ ion beam induced optical contrast formation in hydrogenated silicon-carbon alloy (a-SiC:H) films and underlying structural modifications have been studied. The optical contrast formed (between implanted and unimplanted regions of the film material) has been made use of in the form of optical pattern formation by computer-operated Ga+-focused ion beam. Possible applications of this effect in the area of submicron lithography and high-density optical data storage have been suggested with regard to the most widely spread focused micro-beam systems based on Ga+ liquid metal ion sources. The implanted samples were structurally analysed using vibrational spectroscopies, like Raman and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, to define optimum implantation conditions. The precise role of implantation temperature effects, i.e. the target temperature during Ga+ ion irradiation, on the structural modification obtainable has been therefore a key part of this study. Appropriate post-implantation annealing treatments were also studied, since these are expected to offer further benefits in reducing the required ion dose and enhancing the optical contrast, thus increasing the cost-effectiveness of the method.

  9. Position-dependent performance of copper phthalocyanine based field-effect transistors by gold nanoparticles modification.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiao; Li, Yao; Lv, Wenli; Zhao, Feiyu; Sun, Lei; Peng, Yingquan; Wen, Zhanwei; Zhong, Junkang; Zhang, Jianping

    2015-01-21

    A facile fabrication and characteristics of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)-based organic field-effect transistor (OFET) using the gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) modification is reported, thereby achieving highly improved performance. The effect of Au NPs located at three different positions, that is, at the SiO2/CuPc interface (device B), embedding in the middle of CuPc layer (device C), and on the top of CuPc layer (device D), is investigated, and the results show that device D has the best performance. Compared with the device without Au NPs (reference device A), device D displays an improvement of field-effect mobility (μ(sat)) from 1.65 × 10(-3) to 5.51 × 10(-3) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and threshold voltage decreases from -23.24 to -16.12 V. Therefore, a strategy for the performance improvement of the CuPc-based OFET with large field-effect mobility and saturation drain current is developed, on the basis of the concept of nanoscale Au modification. The model of an additional electron transport channel formation by FET operation at the Au NPs/CuPc interface is therefore proposed to explain the observed performance improvement. Optimum CuPc thickness is confirmed to be about 50 nm in the present study. The device-to-device uniformity and time stability are discussed for future application. PMID:25548878

  10. External Adjustment Sensitivity Analysis for Unmeasured Confounding: An Application to Coronary Stent Outcomes, Pennsylvania 2004–2008

    PubMed Central

    Huesch, Marco D

    2013-01-01

    Background Assessing the real-world comparative effectiveness of common interventions is challenged by unmeasured confounding. Objective To determine whether the mortality benefit shown for drug-eluting stents (DES) over bare metal stents (BMS) in observational studies persists after controls for/tests for confounding. Data Sources/Study Setting Retrospective observational study involving 38,019 patients, 65 years or older admitted for an index percutaneous coronary intervention receiving DES or BMS in Pennsylvania in 2004–2005 followed up for death through 3 years. Study Design Analysis was at the patient level. Mortality was analyzed with Cox proportional hazards models allowing for stratification by disease severity or DES use propensity, accounting for clustering of patients. Instrumental variables analysis used lagged physician stent usage to proxy for the focal stent type decision. A method originating in work by Cornfield and others in 1954 and popularized by Greenland in 1996 was used to assess robustness to confounding. Principal Findings DES was associated with a significantly lower adjusted risk of death at 3 years in Cox and in instrumented analyses. An implausibly strong hypothetical unobserved confounder would be required to fully explain these results. Conclusions Confounding by indication can bias observational studies. No strong evidence of such selection biases was found in the reduced risk of death among elderly patients receiving DES instead of BMS in a Pennsylvanian state-wide population. PMID:23206261

  11. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Processed Pseudogene Confounding Deletion/Duplication Assays for SMAD4.

    PubMed

    Millson, Alison; Lewis, Tracey; Pesaran, Tina; Salvador, David; Gillespie, Katrina; Gau, Chia-Ling; Pont-Kingdon, Genevieve; Lyon, Elaine; Bayrak-Toydemir, Pinar

    2015-09-01

    Mutations in SMAD4 have been associated with juvenile polyposis syndrome and combined juvenile polyposis/hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia syndrome. SMAD4 is part of the SMAD gene family. To date, there has been no report in the literature of a SMAD4 pseudogene. An unusual SMAD4 duplication pattern was seen in multiple patient samples using two different duplication/deletion platforms: multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and chromosomal microarray. Follow-up confirmatory testing included real-time quantitative PCR and sequencing of an exon/exon junction, all results leading to the conclusion of the existence of a processed pseudogene. Examination of clinical results from two laboratories found a frequency of 0.26% (12 in 4672 cases) for this processed pseudogene. This is the first report of the presence of a processed pseudogene for SMAD4. We believe that knowledge of its existence is important for accurate interpretation of clinical diagnostic test results and for new assay designs. This study also indicates how a processed pseudogene may confound quantitative results, dependent on placement of probes and/or primers in a particular assay design, potentially leading to both false-positive and false-negative results. We also found that the SMAD4 processed pseudogene affects next-generation sequencing results by confounding the alignment of the sequences, resulting in erroneous variant calls. We recommend Sanger sequencing confirmation for SMAD4 variants. PMID:26165824

  13. The effect of decitabine dose modification and myelosuppression on response and survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Jabbour, Elias; Garcia-Manero, Guillermo; Cornelison, A Megan; Cortes, Jorge E; Ravandi, Farhad; Daver, Naval; Kadia, Tapan; Teng, Angela; Kantarjian, Hagop

    2015-02-01

    Myelosuppression in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is associated with the hypomethylating agent decitabine. A retrospective pooled analysis of two decitabine clinical trials in patients with MDS conducted Cox regression analyses of red blood cell or platelet dependence, myelosuppression, dose modification, cycle delay or dose reduction, and survival effects. In 182 patients, baseline platelet dependence was a predictor for dose modification, reduction or delay, and death (modification: p=0.006, hazard ratio [HR]=2.04; reduction/delay: p=0.011, HR=2.00; death: p=0.003, HR=1.94). Patients with dose modifications had significantly higher overall response rates versus those with none (22% vs. 10%; p=0.015). Patients with no dose modifications had faster progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) versus patients with dose modifications (p=0.004). Without dose modifications, patients tended to drop out due to disease progression or other reasons. Decitabine dose modifications on treatment may indicate response to treatment. PMID:24844364

  14. New Ion Beam Materials Laboratory for Materials Modification and Irradiation Effects Research

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yanwen; Crespillo, Miguel L; Xue, Haizhou; Jin, Ke; Chen, Chien-Hung; Fontana, Cristiano L; Graham, Dr. Joseph T.; Weber, William J

    2014-11-01

    A new multifunctional ion beam materials laboratory (IBML) has been established at the University of Tennessee, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The IBML is currently equipped with two ion sources, a 3 MV tandem accelerator, three beamlines and three endstations. The IBML is primarily dedicated to fundamental research on ion-solid interaction, ion beam analysis, ion beam modification, and other basic and applied research on irradiation effects in a wide range of materials. An overview of the IBML facility is provided, and experimental results are reported to demonstrate the specific capabilities.

  15. New ion beam materials laboratory for materials modification and irradiation effects research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Crespillo, M. L.; Xue, H.; Jin, K.; Chen, C. H.; Fontana, C. L.; Graham, J. T.; Weber, W. J.

    2014-11-01

    A new multifunctional ion beam materials laboratory (IBML) has been established at the University of Tennessee, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The IBML is currently equipped with two ion sources, a 3 MV tandem accelerator, three beamlines and three endstations. The IBML is primarily dedicated to fundamental research on ion-solid interaction, ion beam analysis, ion beam modification, and other basic and applied research on irradiation effects in a wide range of materials. An overview of the IBML facility is provided, and experimental results are reported to demonstrate the specific capabilities.

  16. Quantification of Treatment Effect Modification on Both an Additive and Multiplicative Scale

    PubMed Central

    Girerd, Nicolas; Rabilloud, Muriel; Pibarot, Philippe; Mathieu, Patrick; Roy, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    Background In both observational and randomized studies, associations with overall survival are by and large assessed on a multiplicative scale using the Cox model. However, clinicians and clinical researchers have an ardent interest in assessing absolute benefit associated with treatments. In older patients, some studies have reported lower relative treatment effect, which might translate into similar or even greater absolute treatment effect given their high baseline hazard for clinical events. Methods The effect of treatment and the effect modification of treatment were respectively assessed using a multiplicative and an additive hazard model in an analysis adjusted for propensity score in the context of coronary surgery. Results The multiplicative model yielded a lower relative hazard reduction with bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting in older patients (Hazard ratio for interaction/year = 1.03, 95%CI: 1.00 to 1.06, p = 0.05) whereas the additive model reported a similar absolute hazard reduction with increasing age (Delta for interaction/year = 0.10, 95%CI: -0.27 to 0.46, p = 0.61). The number needed to treat derived from the propensity score-adjusted multiplicative model was remarkably similar at the end of the follow-up in patients aged < = 60 and in patients >70. Conclusions The present example demonstrates that a lower treatment effect in older patients on a relative scale can conversely translate into a similar treatment effect on an additive scale due to large baseline hazard differences. Importantly, absolute risk reduction, either crude or adjusted, can be calculated from multiplicative survival models. We advocate for a wider use of the absolute scale, especially using additive hazard models, to assess treatment effect and treatment effect modification. PMID:27045168

  17. High frequency effects of modifications to Morison`s equation on the response of a TLP

    SciTech Connect

    Mekha, B.B.; Johnson, C.P.; Roesset, J.M

    1995-12-31

    The work described in this paper is part of a research project conducted at the University of Texas at Austin in conjunction with the Offshore Technology Research Center. The research studies the contribution of different nonlinearities to the global response of tension leg platforms. A rigid body model with three degrees of freedom is selected to represent a TLP hull which consists of four columns and four pontoons. The tendons are modelled as elastic springs allowing for the variation of the axial forces and the effect of setdown. The forces are computed using Morison`s equation with and without the nonlinear modifications formulated by Rainey. Forces on the bottom of a truncated cylinder are employed to account for the diffraction and radiation effects. The effects of these modifications on the high frequency response and on the tendon forces are discussed for different aspects ratios of column diameter to wavelength. Among other conclusions, the tendons forces are dominated by the heave response at the wave frequencies and by the pitch response at the pitch natural frequency.

  18. A screen of chemical modifications identifies position-specific modification by UNA to most potently reduce siRNA off-target effects

    PubMed Central

    Bramsen, Jesper B.; Pakula, Malgorzata M.; Hansen, Thomas B.; Bus, Claus; Langkjær, Niels; Odadzic, Dalibor; Smicius, Romualdas; Wengel, Suzy L.; Chattopadhyaya, Jyoti; Engels, Joachim W.; Herdewijn, Piet; Wengel, Jesper; Kjems, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are now established as the preferred tool to inhibit gene function in mammalian cells yet trigger unintended gene silencing due to their inherent miRNA-like behavior. Such off-target effects are primarily mediated by the sequence-specific interaction between the siRNA seed regions (position 2–8 of either siRNA strand counting from the 5′-end) and complementary sequences in the 3′UTR of (off-) targets. It was previously shown that chemical modification of siRNAs can reduce off-targeting but only very few modifications have been tested leaving more to be identified. Here we developed a luciferase reporter-based assay suitable to monitor siRNA off-targeting in a high throughput manner using stable cell lines. We investigated the impact of chemically modifying single nucleotide positions within the siRNA seed on siRNA function and off-targeting using 10 different types of chemical modifications, three different target sequences and three siRNA concentrations. We found several differently modified siRNAs to exercise reduced off-targeting yet incorporation of the strongly destabilizing unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) modification into position 7 of the siRNA most potently reduced off-targeting for all tested sequences. Notably, such position-specific destabilization of siRNA–target interactions did not significantly reduce siRNA potency and is therefore well suited for future siRNA designs especially for applications in vivo where siRNA concentrations, expectedly, will be low. PMID:20453030

  19. 78 FR 20137 - Probable Economic Effect of Certain Modifications to the North American Free Trade Agreement...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-03

    ... list of modifications in the attachment to the March 11, 2013, letter in the form of a correlation... modifications, and the clarifying correlation table are available on the Commission's Web site at...

  20. Modification effects of coping on post-traumatic morbidity among earthquake rescuers.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Ming; Lee, Li-Ching; Connor, Kathryn M; Davidson, Jonathan R T; Lai, Te-Jen

    2008-03-15

    This study aims to investigate the modification effects of coping strategies on the relationships between rescue effort and psychiatric morbidity (i.e. general psychiatric morbidity and post-traumatic morbidity) in earthquake rescue workers. Firefighters (n=193) who were involved in the rescue effort after the Taiwan Chi-Chi earthquake were invited to complete a questionnaire which contained questions on demographics, exposure to rescue work, general psychiatric morbidity, post-traumatic morbidity, and coping strategies. Multivariate regression models with interaction terms were carried out to investigate the modification effect of coping strategies on the relationships between rescue effort and psychiatric morbidities. Older age and longer job experiences (>3 years) were associated with both general psychiatric and post-traumatic morbidities. Coping strategies such as confrontive coping, distancing, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, escape-avoidance, planful problem solving, and positive appraisal significantly modified the effect of exposure to dead bodies on general psychiatric morbidity. Furthermore, confrontive coping, distancing, and planned problem solving significantly modified the effect of exposure to direct rescue involvement on general psychiatric morbidity. However, coping strategies were not observed to buffer the effect of rescue involvement or contact with dead bodies on post-traumatic morbidity. More frequent use of coping strategies could reduce the effect that exposure to rescue efforts has on the incidence of general psychiatric morbidity in rescue workers. However, coping strategies do not seem to reduce the influence of such exposure on trauma-related morbidities. This suggests that coping strategies can be used to prevent general psychiatric morbidity but not trauma-related morbidities. PMID:18258306

  1. Anti-Zeno-effect recovery and Lamb-shift modification in modified vacuum

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Dawei; Wang Ligang; Li Zhenghong; Zhu Shiyao

    2009-10-15

    The influence of the modification of the free vacuum on the quantum Zeno and anti-Zeno effects, as well as the Lamb (energy) shift of a multilevel atom, is studied. A unitary transformation method has been used to include the counter-rotating terms and to obtain the ground state of the whole Hamiltonian. The anti-Zeno effect is recovered if the modified density of states (DOS) has a dip near the transition frequency. The modification of DOS by a dip or a peak will change the Lamb shift compared with that in the free vacuum. Together with our unitary transformation method, there are three different methods to obtain the change in the Lamb shift. Using our method we investigate the change in the Lamb shift and obtain a formula for the change, which is the same as obtained with the method of Louisell [Quantum Statistical Properties of Radiation (Wiley, New York, 1973)] but different from the method of Cohen-Tannoudji et al. [Atom-Photon Interactions: Basic Processes and Applications (Wiley, New York, 1992), pp. 317 and 417]. The correctness of the Lamb shift formulas obtained by the three methods can be easily testified experimentally.

  2. Effects of oxidative modification on gel properties of isolated porcine myofibrillar protein by peroxyl radicals.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Feibai; Zhao, Mouming; Zhao, Haifeng; Sun, Weizheng; Cui, Chun

    2014-04-01

    AAPH-derived (2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride) peroxyl radicals were selected as representative free radicals of lipid peroxidation to investigate the effects of oxidative modifications on isolated porcine myofibrillar protein structures as well as their rheological and gelling properties. Incubation of myofibrillar protein with increasing concentrations of AAPH resulted in a gradual increase (p<0.05) in carbonyl content and SH→S-S conversion. Results from SDS-PAGE indicated that medium (~1 mM) and relatively high (>3 mM) concentrations of AAPH induced aggregation of myosin and denaturation of myosin, troponin and tropomyosin, respectively. These structural changes resulted in changes on gelation of myofibrillar protein. Low level protein oxidation (AAPH≤0.5 mM) had no remarkable effect (p>0.05) on the viscoelastic pattern of myofibrillar protein gelation. Moderate oxidative modification (AAPH~1mM) enhanced the water-holding capacity (WHC) and texture properties of gels, while further oxidation (AAPH>3mM) significantly reduced the gel quality. PMID:24406430

  3. Synergistic Effects of Alloying and Thiolate Modification in Furfural Hydrogenation over Cu-Based Catalysts.

    PubMed

    Pang, Simon H; Love, Nicole E; Medlin, J Will

    2014-12-01

    Control of bimetallic surface composition and surface modification with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) represent two methods for modifying catalyst activity and selectivity. However, possible synergistic effects of employing these strategies in concert have not been previously explored. We investigated the effects of modifying Cu/Al2O3 catalysts by alloying with Ni and modifying with octadecanethiol (C18) SAMs, using furfural hydrogenation as a probe reaction. Incorporation of small amounts of Ni (Cu4Ni) improved catalytic activity while slightly reducing hydrogenation selectivity. Further incorporation of Ni resulted in high rates for decarbonylation and ring-opening. Modification of the Cu4Ni catalyst with C18-SAMs resulted in improvement in both the activity and hydrogenation selectivity. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy experiments on bimetallic thin films and density functional theory calculations revealed that the C18-SAM kinetically stabilized Cu at the surface under hydrogenation conditions. These results indicate that thiolate monolayers can be used to control surface bimetallic composition to improve catalytic performance. PMID:26278941

  4. Effects of modifications to the space shuttle entry guidance and control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, R. W.; Stone, H. W.; Rowell, L. F.

    1976-01-01

    A nonlinear six degree of freedom entry simulation study was conducted to identify space shuttle guidance and control system software modifications which reduce the control system sensitivity to the guidance system sampling frequency. Several modifications which eliminated the control system sensitivity and associated control limit cycling were examined. The result of the modifications was a reduction in required reaction control system fuel.

  5. Effects of intracerebral hemorrhage on 5-hydroxymethylcytosine modification in mouse brains

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yilin; Han, Sha; Asakawa, Tetsuya; Luo, Yunhe; Han, Xiang; Xiao, Baoguo; Dong, Qiang; Wang, Liang

    2016-01-01

    The past decade has resulted in an increase in the knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying brain injury induced by intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Recent advances have provided a link between epigenetic modification and the regulation of gene expression. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) converted from 5-methylcytosine by the ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of proteins has emerged as a new epigenetic modification. While the dynamics of 5hmC during cerebral ischemia have recently been reported, whether 5hmC is involved in ICH remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated the effects of ICH on DNA hydroxymethylation. We showed that the global level of 5hmC rapidly decreased as early as 24 hours after ICH and persisted until 72 hours. Furthermore, the level of 5hmC in the CpG-rich regions of Akt2, Pdpk1 and Vegf genes was significantly decreased with a minimum level observed at 48 hours or 72 hours. Decreased 5hmC was observed in parallel with an increase in 5-methylcytosine over this time course, and mRNA levels of Akt2, Pdpk1 and Vegf were downregulated upon ICH injury. Finally, Tet1, Tet2 and Tet3 mRNA levels were dramatically decreased in the ICH brain. Our study for the first time established the correlation between DNA hydroxymethylation and ICH injury. Further investigations should examine whether 5hmC modification could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of ICH injury. PMID:27042073

  6. Blue-Violet Laser Modification of Titania Treated Titanium: Antibacterial and Osteo-Inductive Effects

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Takanori; Prananingrum, Widyasri; Ishida, Yuichi; Goto, Takaharu; Naito, Yoshihito; Watanabe, Megumi; Tomotake, Yoritoki; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies on surface modifications of titanium have been performed in an attempt to accelerate osseointegration. Recently, anatase titanium dioxide has been found to act as a photocatalyst that expresses antibiotic properties and exhibits hydrophilicity after ultraviolet exposure. A blue-violet semiconductor laser (BV-LD) has been developed as near-ultraviolet light. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exposure to this BV-LD on surface modifications of titanium with the goal of enhancing osteoconductive and antibacterial properties. Methods The surfaces of pure commercial titanium were polished with #800 waterproof polishing papers and were treated with anatase titania solution. Specimens were exposed using BV-LD (λ = 405 nm) or an ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV-LED, λ = 365 nm) at 6 mW/cm2 for 3 h. The surface modification was evaluated physically and biologically using the following parameters or tests: surface roughness, surface temperature during exposure, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, contact angle, methylene blue degradation tests, adherence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, osteoblast and fibroblast proliferation, and histological examination after implantation in rats. Results No significant changes were found in the surface roughness or XRD profiles after exposure. BV-LD exposure did not raise the surface temperature of titanium. The contact angle was significantly decreased, and methylene blue was significantly degraded. The number of attached P. gingivalis organisms was significantly reduced after BV-LD exposure compared to that in the no exposure group. New bone was observed around exposed specimens in the histological evaluation, and both the bone-to-specimen contact ratio and the new bone area increased significantly in exposed groups. Conclusions This study suggested that exposure of titanium to BV-LD can enhance the osteoconductivity of the titanium surface and induce antibacterial properties, similar to

  7. Brownian dynamics simulation of the effect of histone modification on nucleosome structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wei; Dou, Shuo-Xing; Xie, Ping; Wang, Peng-Ye

    2007-05-01

    Using Brownian dynamics we simulate the effect of histone modification, such as phosphorylation, acetylation, and methylation, on nucleosome structure by varying the interaction force between DNA and the histone octamer. The simulation shows that the structural stability of nucleosome is very sensitive to the interaction force, and the DNA unwrapping from the modified histone octamer usually occurs turn by turn. Furthermore, the effects of temperature and DNA break as well as the competition between modified and normal histone octamers are investigated, with the simulation results being in agreement with the experimental observation that phosphorylated nucleosomes near DNA breaks are more easily depleted. Though the simulation study may only give a coarse grained view of the DNA unwrapping process for the modified histone octamer, it may provide insight into the mechanism of DNA repair.

  8. Resistive Memory for Harsh Electronics: Immunity to Surface Effect and High Corrosion Resistance via Surface Modification

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Teng-Han; Yang, Po-Kang; Lien, Der-Hsien; Kang, Chen-Fang; Tsai, Meng-Lin; Chueh, Yu-Lun; He, Jr-Hau

    2014-01-01

    The tolerance/resistance of the electronic devices to extremely harsh environments is of supreme interest. Surface effects and chemical corrosion adversely affect stability and operation uniformity of metal oxide resistive memories. To achieve the surrounding-independent behavior, the surface modification is introduced into the ZnO memristors via incorporating fluorine to replace the oxygen sites. F-Zn bonds is formed to prevent oxygen chemisorption and ZnO dissolution upon corrosive atmospheric exposure, which effectively improves switching characteristics against harmful surroundings. In addition, the fluorine doping stabilizes the cycling endurance and narrows the distribution of switching parameters. The outcomes provide valuable insights for future nonvolatile memory developments in harsh electronics. PMID:24638086

  9. Estimation of mutagenic effect and modifications of mitosis by silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Prokhorova, I M; Kibrik, B S; Pavlov, A V; Pesnya, D S

    2013-12-01

    We analyzed mutagenic and mitosis-modifying effects of silver nanoparticles (Allium test). Chromosome aberrations and laggings and micronuclei were simultaneously registered in the same sample. Mitotic and phase indexes were calculated. No mutagenic effects were detected after treatment with silver nanoparticles in doses of 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 50 mg/liter. Silver nanoparticles in a concentration of 50 mg/liter significantly increased the mitotic index. Nanoparticles in a dose of 5 mg/liter induced slight, but significant increase in mitotic index, but did not affect the ratio of phase indexes. Exposure to silver nanoparticles in concentrations of 1.0 and 2.5 mg/liter was not followed by modification of mitosis. PMID:24319763

  10. Magnetic zenith effect in the ionospheric modification by an X-mode HF heater wave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blagoveshchenskaya, N. F.; Borisova, T. D.; Haggstrom, I.; Rietveld, M. T.; Yeoman, T. K.

    2013-12-01

    We report experimental results aimed at an investigation of the magnetic zenith effect in the high latitude ionosphere F region from ionospheric modification by powerful HF heater wave with X-polarization. The ionospheric modification was produced by the HF heating facility at Tromsø (Norway) using the phased array with a narrow beam with of 6 degrees. Effective radiated power was varied between 450 and 1000 MW. The HF pump wave radiated in different directions relative to the magnetic field from 90 degrees (vertical) to 78 degrees (magnetic zenith) at frequencies near or above the ordinary-mode critical frequency. The response of the ionosphere plasma to the HF pump wave impact was checked by the UHF incoherent scatter radar located in the immediate vicinity of the HF heater. UHF radar was probing the plasma parameters, such as electron density and temperature (Ne and Te), HF-induced plasma and ion lines in the altitude range from 90 to 600 km. It was running in a scanning mode when UHF radar look angles were changed from 74 to 90 degrees by 1 or 2 degree step. It was clearly demonstrated that the strongest heater-induced effects took place in the magnetic field-aligned direction when HF pointing was also to the magnetic zenith. It was found that strong Ne enhancement of up to 80 % along magnetic field (artificial density ducts) were excited only under HF pumping towards magnetic zenith. The width of the artificial ducts comes to only 2 degrees. The Ne increases were accompanied by the Te enhancements of up to about 50 %. Less pronounced Te increases were also observed in the directions of 84 and 90 degrees. Strong Ne enhancements can be accompanied by excitation of strong HF-induced plasma and ion lines. Thus experimental results obtained points to the strong magnetic zenith effect due to self-focusing powerful HF radio wave with X-mode polarization.

  11. Effect modification in the temperature extremes by mortality subgroups among the tropical cities of the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Seposo, Xerxes T.; Dang, Tran Ngoc; Honda, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    Background Temperature–mortality relationships have been extensively probed with varying temperature range but with relatively similar patterns and in some instances are being modified by specific mortality groups such as causes of mortality, sex, and age. Objective This study aimed to determine the risk attributions in the extreme temperatures and also identified the risks associated with the various mortality subgroups. Design We used the 2006–2010 daily average meteorological and daily mortality variables from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Philippine Statistics Authority–National Statistics Office, respectively. Mortality data were divided according to cause (cardiovascular and respiratory), sex, and age (0–14 years, 15–64 years, and >64 years). We performed a two-stage analysis to estimate the extreme temperature effects stratified by the different mortality subgroups to observe the effect modification. Results In the pooled analysis, greater risks were observed in the extreme high temperature (99th temperature percentile; RR (relative risk)=2.48 CI: 1.55–3.98) compared to the extreme low temperature (1st temperature percentile; RR=1.23 CI: 0.88–1.72). Furthermore, effect modification by mortality subgroups was evident, especially higher risks for extreme temperatures with respiratory-related diseases, women, and elderly. Conclusions Both sex and age were found to effect modify the risks in extreme temperatures of tropical cities; hence, health-related policies should take these risk variations into consideration to create strategies with respect to the risk population. PMID:27357073

  12. Effect of carbon surface modification with dimethylamine on reactive adsorption of NO(x).

    PubMed

    Deliyanni, Eleni; Bandosz, Teresa J

    2011-03-01

    The wood-based activated carbon, either as received or oxidized with nitric acid, was exposed to dimethylamine vapors. This modification was expected to introduce nitrogen groups. Then, the modified samples were used as adsorbents of NO(2) under dynamic conditions. Both NO(2) breakthrough curves and the NO concentration curves were recorded. The samples before and after exposure to NO(2) were characterized using adsorption of nitrogen, elemental analysis, potentiometric titration, FTIR, and thermal analysis. Modifications with amines resulted in an increase in NO(2) adsorption and in a decrease in NO emission. The effects were more visible when oxidation was used as a pretreatment of the carbon surface. This process increased the incorporation of nitrogen to the carbon matrix via acid-based reactions resulting in the formation of amides and amine carboxylic salts. Besides this, dimethylamine was strongly adsorbed on the carbon surface via hydrogen bonding with oxygen-containing groups. When the samples were exposed to nitrogen dioxide, there was an indication that nitramine and nitrosoamine were formed in the reactions of NO(2) with either amides or amines. In the reactions of amines with NO, nitrosoamines are the likely products. As a next step, the surface of the carbon matrix is reoxidized by NO(2), which is accompanied by the release of NO. PMID:21188988

  13. Effect of mycotoxin-containing diets on epigenetic modifications of mouse oocytes by fluorescence microscopy analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Hou, Yan-Jun; Han, Jun; Liu, Hong-Lin; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-08-01

    Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin (AF), fumonisin B1, zearalenone (ZEA), and deoxynivalenol (DON), are commonly found in many food commodities. Mycotoxins have been shown to increase DNA methylation levels in a human intestinal cell line. We previously showed that the developmental competence of oocytes was affected in mice that had been fed a mycotoxin-containing diet. In this study, we explored possible mechanisms of low mouse oocyte developmental competence after mycotoxin treatment in an epigenetic modification perspective. Mycotoxin-contaminated maize (DON at 3,875 μg/kg, ZEA at 1,897 μg/kg, and AF at 806 μg/kg) was included in diets at three different doses (mass percentage: 0, 15, and 30%) and fed to mice for 4 weeks. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that the general DNA methylation levels increased in oocytes from high dose mycotoxin-fed mice. Mouse oocyte histone methylation was also altered. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 level increased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice, whereas H3K27me3 and H4K20me2 level decreased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice. Thus, our results indicate that naturally occurring mycotoxins have effects on epigenetic modifications in mouse oocytes, which may be one of the reasons for reduced oocyte developmental competence. PMID:24810297

  14. Effect of Plasma Processing and Organosilane Modifications of Polyethylene on Aeromonas hydrophila Biofilm Formation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The aim of our research was to study how the modifications of polyethylene—a material commonly used in medicine and water industry—influence bacterial cell attachment and biofilm formation. The native surface was activated and modified using two-step process consisting in the activation of native surface with a H2O vapor plasma followed by its treatment with various organosilanes, namely, [3(tertbutylamine-2hydroxy) propyloxypropyl] diethoxymethylsilane, 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctylmethyldimethoxysilane, dimethoxydimethylsilane, and isobutylmethyldimethoxysilane. The effect of polyethylene modification after chemical treatment was analyzed using surface tension measurement. The adhesive properties of Aeromonas hydrophila LOCK0968 were studied in water with a low concentration of organic compounds, using luminometric and microscopic methods, and the viability of the adhered bacterial cells was evaluated using the colony forming units method. After two-week incubation the chemically modified materials exhibited better antiadhesive and antibacterial characteristics in comparison to the native surface. Among the examined modifying agents, dimethoxydimethylsilane showed the best desired properties. PMID:24605323

  15. Effect of plasma processing and organosilane modifications of polyethylene on Aeromonas hydrophila biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Kregiel, Dorota; Niedzielska, Kamila

    2014-01-01

    The aim of our research was to study how the modifications of polyethylene--a material commonly used in medicine and water industry--influence bacterial cell attachment and biofilm formation. The native surface was activated and modified using two-step process consisting in the activation of native surface with a H2O vapor plasma followed by its treatment with various organosilanes, namely, [3(tertbutylamine-2hydroxy) propyloxypropyl] diethoxymethylsilane, 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctylmethyldimethoxysilane, dimethoxydimethylsilane, and isobutylmethyldimethoxysilane. The effect of polyethylene modification after chemical treatment was analyzed using surface tension measurement. The adhesive properties of Aeromonas hydrophila LOCK0968 were studied in water with a low concentration of organic compounds, using luminometric and microscopic methods, and the viability of the adhered bacterial cells was evaluated using the colony forming units method. After two-week incubation the chemically modified materials exhibited better antiadhesive and antibacterial characteristics in comparison to the native surface. Among the examined modifying agents, dimethoxydimethylsilane showed the best desired properties. PMID:24605323

  16. Does attention redirection contribute to the effectiveness of attention bias modification on social anxiety?

    PubMed

    Yao, Nisha; Yu, Hongyu; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) is designed to modify threat-related attention bias and thus alleviate anxiety. The current research examined whether consistently directing attention towards targeted goals per se contributes to ABM efficacy. We randomly assigned 68 non-clinical college students with elevated social anxiety to non-valence-specific attend-to-geometrics (AGC), attention modification (AMC), or attention control (ACC) conditions. We assessed subjective, behavioral, and physiological reactivity to a speech task and self-reported social anxiety symptoms. After training, participants in the AMC exhibited an attention avoidance from threat, and those in the AGC responded more rapidly toward targeted geometrics. There was a significant pre- to post-reduction in subjective speech distress across groups, but behavioral and physiological reactivity to speech, as well as self-report social anxiety symptoms, remained unchanged. These results lead to questions concerning effectiveness of ABM training for reducing social anxiety. Further examination of the current ABM protocol is required. PMID:26426451

  17. Smoking during pregnancy and offspring externalizing problems: An exploration of genetic and environmental confounds

    PubMed Central

    D’Onofrio, Brian M.; Van Hulle, Carol A.; Waldman, Irwin D.; Rodgers, Joseph Lee; Harden, K. Paige; Rathouz, Paul J.; Lahey, Benjamin B.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have documented that smoking during pregnancy (SDP) is associated with offspring externalizing problems, even when measured covariates were used to control for possible confounds. However, the association may be due to non-measured environmental and genetic factors that increase risk for offspring externalizing problems. The current project used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and their children, ages 4–10 years, to explore the relations between SDP and offspring conduct problems (CP), oppositional-defiant problems (ODP), and attention deficit hyperactivity problems (ADHP) using methodological and statistical controls for confounds. When offspring were compared to their own siblings who differed in their exposure to prenatal nicotine, there was no effect of SDP on offspring CP and ODP. This suggests that SDP does not have a causal effect on offspring CP and ODP. There was a small association between SDP and ADHP, consistent with a causal effect of SDP, but the magnitude of the association was greatly reduced by methodological and statistical controls. Genetically informed analyses suggest that unmeasured environmental variables influencing both SDP and offspring externalizing behaviors account for the previously observed associations. That is, the current analyses imply that important unidentified environmental factors account for the association between SDP and offspring externalizing problems, not teratogenic effects of SDP. PMID:18211732

  18. Water dispersible upconverting nanoparticles: effects of surface modification on their luminescence and colloidal stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilhelm, Stefan; Kaiser, Martin; Würth, Christian; Heiland, Josef; Carrillo-Carrion, Carolina; Muhr, Verena; Wolfbeis, Otto S.; Parak, Wolfgang J.; Resch-Genger, Ute; Hirsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We present a systematic study on the effect of surface ligands on the luminescence properties and colloidal stability of β-NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), comparing nine different surface coatings to render these UCNPs water-dispersible and bioconjugatable. A prerequisite for this study was a large-scale synthetic method that yields ~2 g per batch of monodisperse oleate-capped UCNPs providing identical core particles. These ~23 nm sized UCNPs display an upconversion quantum yield of ~0.35% when dispersed in cyclohexane and excited with a power density of 150 W cm-2, underlining their high quality. A comparison of the colloidal stability and luminescence properties of these UCNPs, subsequently surface modified with ligand exchange or encapsulation protocols, revealed that the ratio of the green (545 nm) and red (658 nm) emission bands determined at a constant excitation power density clearly depends on the surface chemistry. Modifications relying on the deposition of additional (amphiphilic) layer coatings, where the initial oleate coating is retained, show reduced non-radiative quenching by water as compared to UCNPs that are rendered water-dispersible via ligand exchange. Moreover, we could demonstrate that the brightness of the upconversion luminescence of the UCNPs is strongly affected by the type of surface modification, i.e., ligand exchange or encapsulation, yet hardly by the chemical nature of the ligand.We present a systematic study on the effect of surface ligands on the luminescence properties and colloidal stability of β-NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), comparing nine different surface coatings to render these UCNPs water-dispersible and bioconjugatable. A prerequisite for this study was a large-scale synthetic method that yields ~2 g per batch of monodisperse oleate-capped UCNPs providing identical core particles. These ~23 nm sized UCNPs display an upconversion quantum yield of ~0.35% when dispersed in

  19. Daily temperature and mortality: a study of distributed lag non-linear effect and effect modification in Guangzhou

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although many studies have documented health effects of ambient temperature, little evidence is available in subtropical or tropical regions, and effect modifiers remain uncertain. We examined the effects of daily mean temperature on mortality and effect modification in the subtropical city of Guangzhou, China. Methods A Poisson regression model combined with distributed lag non-linear model was applied to assess the non-linear and lag patterns of the association between daily mean temperature and mortality from 2003 to 2007 in Guangzhou. The case-only approach was used to determine whether the effect of temperature was modified by individual characteristics, including sex, age, educational attainment and occupation class. Results Hot effect was immediate and limited to the first 5 days, with an overall increase of 15.46% (95% confidence interval: 10.05% to 20.87%) in mortality risk comparing the 99th and the 90th percentile temperature. Cold effect persisted for approximately 12 days, with a 20.39% (11.78% to 29.01%) increase in risk comparing the first and the 10th percentile temperature. The effects were especially remarkable for cardiovascular and respiratory mortality. The effects of both hot and cold temperatures were greater among the elderly. Females suffered more from hot-associated mortality than males. We also found significant effect modification by educational attainment and occupation class. Conclusions There are significant mortality effects of hot and cold temperatures in Guangzhou. The elderly, females and subjects with low socioeconomic status have been identified as especially vulnerable to the effect of ambient temperatures. PMID:22974173

  20. The Effect of Structural Modifications on Ionic Conductivity in Newly-Designed Polyester Electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesko, Danielle; Jung, Yuki; Coates, Geoff; Balsara, Nitash

    2015-03-01

    Gaining a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and ionic conductivity of polymer electrolytes is an essential step toward designing next generation materials for battery applications. In this study, we use a systematic set of newly-designed polyesters with varying side-chain lengths and oxygen functional groups to elucidate the effects of structural modifications on the conductive properties of the corresponding electrolytes. Mixtures of polyesters and lithium bis(trifluromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) were characterized using ac impedance spectroscopy to measure the ionic conductivity at various temperatures and salt concentrations. The relative conductivities of these electrolytes in the dilute limit are directly comparable to results of molecular dynamics simulations performed using the same polymers. The simulations correspond well with the experimental results, and provide molecular level insight about the solvation environment of the lithium ions and how the ions transport through these polyesters.

  1. [VLP vaccines and effects of HIV-1 Env protein modifications on their antigenic properties].

    PubMed

    Vzorov, A N; Compans, R W

    2016-01-01

    An ideal protective HIV-1 vaccine can elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies, capable of preventing HIV transmission. The strategies of designing vaccines include generation of soluble recombinant proteins which mimic the native Env complex and are able to enhance the immunogenicity of gp120. Recent data indicate that the cytoplasmic tail (CT) of the Env protein has multiple functions, which can affect the early steps of infection, as well as viral assembly and antigenic properties. Modifications in the CT can be used to induce conformational changes in functional regions of gp120 and to stabilize the trimeric structure, avoiding immune misdirection and induction of non-neutralizing antibody responses. Env-trimers with modified CTs in virus-like particles (VLPs) are able to induce antibodies with broad spectrum neutralizing activity and high avidity and have the potential for developing an effective vaccine against HIV. PMID:27414779

  2. Modification of β-Sheet Forming Peptide Hydrophobic Face: Effect on Self-Assembly and Gelation.

    PubMed

    Elsawy, Mohamed A; Smith, Andrew M; Hodson, Nigel; Squires, Adam; Miller, Aline F; Saiani, Alberto

    2016-05-17

    β-Sheet forming peptides have attracted significant interest for the design of hydrogels for biomedical applications. One of the main challenges is the control and understanding of the correlations between peptide molecular structure, the morphology, and topology of the fiber and network formed as well as the macroscopic properties of the hydrogel obtained. In this work, we have investigated the effect that functionalizing these peptides through their hydrophobic face has on their self-assembly and gelation. Our results show that the modification of the hydrophobic face results in a partial loss of the extended β-sheet conformation of the peptide and a significant change in fiber morphology from straight to kinked. As a consequence, the ability of these fibers to associate along their length and form large bundles is reduced. These structural changes (fiber structure and network topology) significantly affect the mechanical properties of the hydrogels (shear modulus and elasticity). PMID:27089379

  3. Modification of β-Sheet Forming Peptide Hydrophobic Face: Effect on Self-Assembly and Gelation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    β-Sheet forming peptides have attracted significant interest for the design of hydrogels for biomedical applications. One of the main challenges is the control and understanding of the correlations between peptide molecular structure, the morphology, and topology of the fiber and network formed as well as the macroscopic properties of the hydrogel obtained. In this work, we have investigated the effect that functionalizing these peptides through their hydrophobic face has on their self-assembly and gelation. Our results show that the modification of the hydrophobic face results in a partial loss of the extended β-sheet conformation of the peptide and a significant change in fiber morphology from straight to kinked. As a consequence, the ability of these fibers to associate along their length and form large bundles is reduced. These structural changes (fiber structure and network topology) significantly affect the mechanical properties of the hydrogels (shear modulus and elasticity). PMID:27089379

  4. Effect of surface modification and UVA photoactivation on antibacterial bioactivity of zinc oxide powder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ann, Ling Chuo; Mahmud, Shahrom; Bakhori, Siti Khadijah Mohd; Sirelkhatim, Amna; Mohamad, Dasmawati; Hasan, Habsah; Seeni, Azman; Rahman, Rosliza Abdul

    2014-02-01

    The effects of surface modification of zinc oxide (ZnO) powder and UVA illumination on the powder towards Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were investigated. FESEM-EDS results showed that oxygen annealing increased the O:Zn ratio on the surface of ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate samples. Surface conductances of ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate pellets were reduced from 1.05 nS to 0.15 nS and 1.34 nS to 0.23 nS, respectively. Meanwhile, UVA illumination on the surface of the ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate samples was found to improve surface conductance to 7.08 nS and 6.51 nS, respectively, due to the release of charge carrier. Photoluminescence results revealed that oxygen annealing halved the UV emission intensity and green emission intensity, presumably caused by oxygen absorption in the ZnO lattice. The antibacterial results showed that oxygen-treated ZnO exhibited slightly higher growth inhibition on E. coli and S. aureus compared with unannealed ZnO. UVA illumination on ZnO causes the greatest inhibition toward E. coli and S. aureus. Under the UVA excitation, the inhibition of E. coli increased by 18% (ZnO-rod) and 13% (ZnO-plate) while the inhibition of S. aureus increased by 22% (ZnO-rod) and 21% (ZnO-plate). Release of reactive oxygen species were proposed in antibacterial mechanisms, which were aided by surface modification and UVA photoactivation. The reactive oxygen species disrupted the DNA and protein synthesis of the bacterial cell, causing bacteriostatic effects toward E. coli and S. aureus.

  5. Tribocorrosion studies of metallic biomaterials: The effect of plasma nitriding and DLC surface modifications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-Hua; Aune, Ragnhild E; Espallargas, Nuria

    2016-10-01

    The medical grade pure titanium, stainless steel and CoCrMo alloy have been utilized as biomaterials for load-bearing orthopedic prosthesis. The conventional surgery metals suffer from a combined effect of wear and corrosion once they are implanted, which may significantly accelerate the material degradation process. In this work, the tribocorrosion performance of the metallic biomaterials with different surface modifications was studied in the simulated body fluid for the purpose of investigating the effect of the surface treatments on the tribocorrosion performance and eventually finding the most suitable implantation materials. The metals were subjected to surface modifications by plasma nitriding in different treatment temperatures or physical vapor deposition (PVD) to produce diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating, respectively. The dry wear and tribocorrosion properties of the samples were evaluated by using a reciprocating ball-on-disc tribometer equipped with an electrochemical cell. Prior to the tribocorrosion tests, their electrochemical behavior was measured by the potentiodynamic polarization in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution at room temperature. Both stainless steel and CoCrMo after low temperature nitriding kept their passive nature by forming an expanded austenite phase. The DLC coated samples presented the low anodic corrosion current due to the chemical inertness of the carbon layer. During the tribocorrosion tests at open circuit potential, the untreated and low temperature nitrided samples exhibited significant potential drop towards the cathodic direction, which was a result of the worn out of the passive film. Galvanic coupling was established between the depassivated (worn) area and the still passive (unworn) area, making the materials suffered from wear-accelerated corrosion. The DLC coating performed as a solid lubricant in both dry wear and tribocorrosion tests, and the resulting wear after the tests was almost negligible. PMID:27348147

  6. Effectiveness of a volunteer-delivered lifestyle modification program for reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Paul; Morton, Darren P; Diehl, Hans; Gobble, John; Morey, Peter; Chang, Esther

    2012-01-01

    Lifestyle modification has been demonstrated to effectively reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, but there is a perception that it is costly to administer and resource. The present study examined the results achieved by a 30-day lifestyle modification program (Coronary Health Improvement Project) delivered by volunteers in a community setting. Changes in selected biometric measures of 5,070 participants in the Coronary Health Improvement Project programs delivered throughout North America (January 2006 to October 2009), were assessed. Overall, significant reductions (p < 0.001) were recorded in body mass (-3.2%), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (-4.9% and -5.3%, respectively), total cholesterol (-11.0%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-13.0%), triglycerides (-7.7%), and fasting plasma glucose (-6.1%). Stratification of the data revealed more dramatic responses in those presenting with the greatest risk factor levels. Those presenting with cholesterol levels >280 mg/dl recorded an average reduction of 19.8%. A mean decrease of 16.1% in low-density lipoprotein levels was observed among those who entered the program with a low-density lipoprotein level >190 mg/dl. Individuals who presented with triglycerides >500 mg/dl recorded a mean reduction of 44.1%. The Framingham assessment forecast that approximately 70 cardiac events would be averted during the subsequent decade in the cohort because of the program. In conclusion, significant reductions in cardiovascular disease risk factors can be achieved in a 30-day lifestyle intervention delivered by volunteers, providing a cost-effective mode of administering lifestyle medicine. PMID:21944675

  7. Impacts of temperature change on ambulance dispatches and seasonal effect modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jian; Xu, Zhiwei; Zhao, Desheng; Xie, Mingyu; Yang, Huihui; Wen, Liying; Li, Kesheng; Su, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Ambulance dispatch is a proxy of acute health outcomes, and growing epidemiological evidence documented its relation to extreme temperature events. Research, however, on short-term temperature change and ambulance dispatches is scarce. We aimed to investigate the effect of short-term temperature change on ambulance dispatches and potential modification by season. Daily data on ambulance dispatch and weather factors were collected in Huainan, a Chinese inland city from December 2011 through December 2013. A Poison generalized linear regression model combined with distributed lag nonlinear model was constructed to examine the association of temperature change between neighboring days (TCN) with ambulance dispatches. The effect modification by season was also examined. There were 48,700 ambulance attendances during the study period. A statistically significant association of TCN with ambulance dispatches was observed. Temperature rise between neighboring days (TCN > 0) was associated with elevated adverse risk of ambulance dispatches, and the effects appeared to be acute (lag0, on the current day) and could last for at least a week, while temperature drop between neighboring days (TCN < 0) had a protective effect. For a 1 °C increase of TCN at lag0 and lag06 (on the 7-day moving average), the risk of ambulance dispatches increased by 2 % (95 % CI 1-3 %) and 7 (95 % CI 1-13 %), respectively. Extreme TCN increase (95th percentile, 3.3 °C vs. 0 °C) at lag0 and lag05 was accompanied by 6 (95 % CI 3-8 %) and 27 % (95 % CI 12-44 %) increase in ambulance dispatches. Ambulance dispatches were more vulnerable to extremely great temperature rise in summer and autumn. TCN was adopted for the first time to quantify the impact of short-term temperature change on ambulance dispatches. Temperature drop between neighboring days (TCN < 0) had a protective effect on ambulance dispatches, while temperature rise between neighboring days (TCN > 0) could acutely trigger the increase in

  8. Hamilton study: distribution of factors confounding the relationship between air quality and respiratory health

    SciTech Connect

    Pengelly, L.D.; Kerigan, A.T.; Goldsmith, C.H.; Inman, E.M.

    1984-10-01

    Hamilton, Ontario is an industrial city with a population of 300,000 which is situated at the western end of Lake Ontario. Canada's two largest iron and steel mills are located here; the city historically has had relatively poor air quality, which has improved markedly in the last 25 years. Concern about the health effects of current air quality recently led us to carry out an epidemiological study of the effects of air pollution on the respiratory health of over 3500 school children. Respiratory health was measured by pulmonary function testing of each child, and by an assessment of each child's respiratory symptoms via a questionnaire administered to the parents. Previous studies had shown that other environmental factors (e.g. parental smoking, parental cough, socioeconomic level, housing, and gas cooking) might also affect respiratory health, and thus confound any potential relationships between health and air pollution. The questionnaire also collected information on many of these confounding factors. For the purposes of initial analysis, the city was divided into five areas in which differences in air quality were expected. In general, factors which have been associated with poor respiratory health were observed to be more prevalent in areas of poorer air quality.

  9. The effects of size and surface modification of amorphous silica particles on biodistribution and liver metabolism in mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Xiaoyan; Ji, Cai; Jin, Tingting; Fan, Xiaohui

    2015-05-01

    Engineered nanoparticles, with unconventional properties, are promising platforms for biomedical applications. Since they may interact with a wide variety of biomolecules, it is critical to understand the impact of the physicochemical properties of engineered nanoparticles on biological systems. In this study, the effects of particle size and surface modification alone or in combination of amorphous silica particles (SPs) on biological responses were determined using a suite of general toxicological assessments and metabonomics analysis in mice model. Our results suggested that amino or carboxyl surface modification mitigated the liver toxicity of plain-surface SPs. 30 nm SPs with amino surface modification were found to be the most toxic SPs among all the surface-modified SP treatments at the same dosage. When treatment dose was increased, submicro-sized SPs with amino or carboxyl surface modification also induced liver toxicity. Biodistribution studies suggested that 70 nm SPs were mainly accumulated in liver and spleen regardless of surface modifications. Interestingly, these two organs exhibited different uptake trends. Furthermore, metabonomics studies indicated that surface modification plays a more dominant role to affect the liver metabolism than particle size.

  10. Confounding Impacts of Iron Reduction on Arsenic Retention

    SciTech Connect

    Tufano, K.J.; Fendorf, S.

    2009-05-26

    A transition from oxidizing to reducing conditions has long been implicated to increase aqueous As concentrations, for which reductive dissolution of iron (hydr)oxides is commonly implicated as the primary culprit. Confounding our understanding of processes controlling As retention, however, is that reductive transformation of ferrihydrite has recently been shown to promote As retention rather than release. To resolve the role iron phases have in regulating arsenic concentrations, here we examine As desorption from ferrihydrite-coated sands presorbed with As(lll); experiments were performed at circumneutral pH under Fe-reducing conditions with the dissimilatory iron reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens strain CN-32 over extended time periods. We reveal that with the initial phase of iron reduction, ferrihydrite undergoes transformation to secondary phases and increases As(lll) retention (relative to abiotic controls). However, with increased reaction time, cessation of the phase transitions and ensuing reductive dissolution result in prolonged release of As(III) to the aqueous phase. Our results suggest that As(lll) retention during iron reduction is temporally dependent on secondary precipitation of iron phases; during transformation to secondary phases, particularly magnetite, As(lll) retention is enhanced even relative to oxidized systems. However, conditions that retard secondary transformation (more stable iron oxides or limited iron reducing bacterial activity), or prolonged anaerobiosis, will lead to both the dissolution of ferric (hydr)oxides and release of As(lll) to the aqueous phase.

  11. Hydroimidazolone Modification of Human αA-Crystallin: Effect on the Chaperone Function and Protein Refolding Ability

    PubMed Central

    Gangadhariah, Mahesha H.; Wang, Benlian; Linetsky, Mikhail; Henning, Christian; Spanneberg, Robert; Glomb, Marcus A.; Nagaraj, Ram H.

    2010-01-01

    Alpha A-crystallin is a molecular chaperone; it prevents aggregation of denaturing proteins. We have previously demonstrated that upon modification by a metabolic α-dicarbonyl compound, methylglyoxal (MGO), αA-crystallin becomes a better chaperone. Alpha A-crystallin also assists in refolding of denatured proteins. Here, we have investigated the effect of mild modification of αA-crystallin by MGO (with 20-500 μM) on the chaperone function and its ability to refold denatured proteins. Under the conditions used, mildly modified protein contained mostly hydroimidazolone modifications. The modified protein exhibited an increase in chaperone function against thermal aggregation of βL- and γ-crystallins, citrate synthase (CS), malate dehydrogenase (MDH) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and chemical aggregation of insulin. The ability of the protein to assist in refolding of chemically denatured βL- and γ-crystallins, MDH and LDH, and to prevent thermal inactivation of CS were unchanged after mild modification by MGO. Prior binding of catalytically inactive, thermally denatured MDH or the hydrophobic probe, 2-p-toluidonaphthalene-6-sulfonate (TNS) abolished the ability of αA-crystallin to assist in the refolding of denatured MDH. However, MGO-modification of chaperone-null TNS-bound αA-crystallin resulted in partial regain of the chaperone function. Taken together, these results demonstrate that: 1) hydroimidazolone modifications are sufficient to enhance the chaperone function of αA-crystallin but such modifications do not change its ability to assist in refolding of denatured proteins, 2) the sites on the αA-crystallin responsible for the chaperone function and refolding are the same in the native αA-crystallin and 3) additional hydrophobic sites exposed upon MGO modification, which are responsible for the enhanced chaperone function, do not enhance αA-crystallin's ability to refold denatured proteins. PMID:20085807

  12. Post-translational modification of osteopontin: Effects on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation and growth

    SciTech Connect

    Boskey, Adele L.; Christensen, Brian; Taleb, Hayat; Sorensen, Esben S.

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Thrombin-cleaved fragments of milk-osteopontin effect hydroxyapatite formation differently. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer N- and C-terminal fragments promoted hydroxyapatite formation and growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A central fragment inhibited hydroxyapatite formation and growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Binding to collagen or hydroxyapatite seed crystals modified these effects. -- Abstract: The manuscript tests the hypothesis that posttranslational modification of the SIBLING family of proteins in general and osteopontin in particular modify the abilities of these proteins to regulate in vitro hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. Osteopontin has diverse effects on hydroxyapatite (HA) mineral crystallite formation and growth depending on the extent of phosphorylation. We hypothesized that different regions of full-length OPN would also have distinct effects on the mineralization process. Thrombin fragmentation of milk OPN (mOPN) was used to test this hypothesis. Three fragments were tested in a de novo HA formation assay; an N-terminal fragment (aa 1-147), a central fragment (aa 148-204) denoted SKK-fragment and a C-terminal fragment (aa 205-262). Compared to intact mOPN the C- and N-terminal fragments behaved comparably, promoting HA formation and growth, but the central SKK-fragment acted as a mineralization inhibitor. In a seeded growth experiment all fragments inhibited mineral proliferation, but the SKK-fragment was the most effective inhibitor. These effects, seen in HA-formation and seeded growth assays in a gelatin gel system and in a pH-stat experiment were lost when the protein or fragments were dephosphorylated. Effects of the fully phosphorylated protein and fragments were also altered in the presence of fibrillar collagen. The diverse effects can be explained in terms of the intrinsically disordered nature of OPN and its fragments which enable them to interact with their multiple partners.

  13. Are We Missing Something Pertinent? A Bias Analysis of Unmeasured Confounding in the Firearm-Suicide Literature.

    PubMed

    Miller, M; Swanson, S A; Azrael, D

    2016-01-01

    Despite the magnitude and consistency of risk estimates in the peer-reviewed literature linking firearm availability and suicide, inferring causality has been questioned on the theoretical basis that existing studies may have failed to account for the possibility that members of households with firearms differ from members of households without firearms in important ways related to suicide risk. The current bias analysis directly addresses this concern by describing the salient characteristics that such an unmeasured confounder would need to possess in order to yield the associations between firearm availability and suicide observed in the literature when, in fact, the causal effect is null. Four US studies, published between 1992 and 2003, met our eligibility criteria. We find that any such unmeasured confounder would need to possess an untenable combination of characteristics, such as being not only 1) as potent a suicide risk factor as the psychiatric disorders most tightly linked to suicide (e.g., major depressive and substance use disorders) but also 2) an order of magnitude more imbalanced across households with versus without firearms than is any known risk factor. No such confounder has been found or even suggested. The current study strongly suggests that unmeasured confounding alone is unlikely to explain the association between firearms and suicide. PMID:26769723

  14. Surface modification and laser pulse length effects on internal energy transfer in DIOS.

    PubMed

    Luo, Guanghong; Chen, Yong; Siuzdak, Gary; Vertes, Akos

    2005-12-29

    Benzyl-substituted benzylpyridinium (BP) chloride salts were used as a source of thermometer ions to probe the internal energy (IE) transfer in desorption/ionization on porous silicon (DIOS). To modify their wetting properties and the interaction energies with the thermometer ions, the DIOS surfaces were silylated to produce trimethylsilyl- (TMS), amine- (NH2), perfluoroalkyl- (PFA), and perfluorophenyl-derivatized (PFP) surfaces. Two laser sources--a nitrogen laser with pulse length of 4 ns and a mode locked 3 x omega Nd:YAG laser with a pulse length of 22 ps--were utilized to induce desorption/ionization and fragmentation at various laser fluence levels. The corresponding survival yields were determined as indicators of the IE transfer and the IE distributions were extracted. In most cases, with increasing the laser fluence in a broad range (approximately 20 mJ/cm2), no change in IE transfer was observed. For ns excitation, this was in remarkable contrast with MALDI, where increasing the laser fluence resulted in sharply (within approximately 5 mJ/cm2) declining survival yields. Derivatization of the porous silicon surface did not affect the survival yields significantly but had a discernible effect on the threshold fluence for ion production. The IE distributions determined for DIOS and MALDI from alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid reveal that the mean IE value is always lower for the latter. Using the ps laser, the IE distribution is always narrower for DIOS, whereas for ns laser excitation the width depends on surface modification. Most of the differences between MALDI and DIOS described here are compatible with the different dimensionality of the plume expansion and the differences in the activation energy of desorption due to surface modifications. PMID:16375447

  15. Incorporating linked healthcare claims to improve confounding control in a study of in-hospital medication use

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Jessica M; Eddings, Wesley; Schneeweiss, Sebastian; Rassen, Jeremy A

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The Premier Perspective hospital billing database provides a promising data source for studies of inpatient medication use. However, in-hospital recording of confounders is limited, and incorporating linked healthcare claims data available for a subset of the cohort may improve confounding control. We investigated methods capable of adjusting for confounders measured in a subset, including complete case analysis, multiple imputation of missing data, and propensity score (PS) calibration. Methods Methods were implemented in an example study of adults in Premier undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in 2004-2008 and exposed to either bivalirudin or heparin. In a subset of patients enrolled in UnitedHealth for at least 90 days before hospitalization, additional confounders were assessed from healthcare claims, including comorbidities, prior medication use, and service use intensity. Diagnostics for each method were evaluated, and methods were compared with respect to the estimates and confidence intervals of treatment effects on repeat PCI, bleeding, and in-hospital death. Results Of 210,268 patients in the hospital-based cohort, 3,240 (1.5%) had linked healthcare claims. This subset was younger and healthier than the overall study population. The linked subset was too small for complete case evaluation of 2 of the 3 outcomes of interest. Multiple imputation and PS calibration did not meaningfully impact treatment effect estimates and associated confidence intervals. Conclusions Despite more than 98% missingness on 24 variables, PS calibration and multiple imputation incorporated confounders from healthcare claims without major increases in estimate uncertainty. Additional research is needed to determine the relative bias of these methods. PMID:25935198

  16. Effects of laser fluence on silicon modification by four-beam laser interference

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Le; Li, Dayou; Wang, Zuobin Yue, Yong; Zhang, Jinjin; Yu, Miao; Li, Siwei

    2015-12-21

    This paper discusses the effects of laser fluence on silicon modification by four-beam laser interference. In this work, four-beam laser interference was used to pattern single crystal silicon wafers for the fabrication of surface structures, and the number of laser pulses was applied to the process in air. By controlling the parameters of laser irradiation, different shapes of silicon structures were fabricated. The results were obtained with the single laser fluence of 354 mJ/cm{sup 2}, 495 mJ/cm{sup 2}, and 637 mJ/cm{sup 2}, the pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz, the laser exposure pulses of 30, 100, and 300, the laser wavelength of 1064 nm, and the pulse duration of 7–9 ns. The effects of the heat transfer and the radiation of laser interference plasma on silicon wafer surfaces were investigated. The equations of heat flow and radiation effects of laser plasma of interfering patterns in a four-beam laser interference distribution were proposed to describe their impacts on silicon wafer surfaces. The experimental results have shown that the laser fluence has to be properly selected for the fabrication of well-defined surface structures in a four-beam laser interference process. Laser interference patterns can directly fabricate different shape structures for their corresponding applications.

  17. Effects of electrode surface modification with chlorotoxin on patterning single glioma cells.

    PubMed

    Asphahani, Fareid; Zheng, Xiaohao; Veiseh, Omid; Thein, Myo; Xu, Jian; Ohuchi, Fumio; Zhang, Miqin

    2011-05-21

    A microchip patterned with arrays of single cancer cells can be an effective platform for the study of tumor biology, medical diagnostics, and drug screening. However, patterning and retaining viable single cancer cells on defined sites of the microarray can be challenging. In this study we used a tumor cell-specific peptide, chlorotoxin (CTX), to mediate glioma cell adhesion on arrays of gold microelectrodes and investigated the effects of three surface modification schemes for conjugation of CTX to the microelectrodes on single cell patterning, which include physical adsorption, covalent bonding mediated by N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS), and covalent bonding via crosslinking succinimidyl iodoacetate and Traut's (SIA-Traut) reagents. The CTX immobilization to microelectrodes was confirmed by high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Physically adsorbed CTX showed better support for cell adhesion and is more effective in confining adhered cells on the electrodes than covalently-bound CTX. Furthermore, cell adhesion and spreading on microelectrodes were quantified in real-time by impedance measurements, which revealed an impedance signal from physically adsorbed CTX electrodes four times greater than the signal from covalently-bound CTX electrodes. PMID:21678586

  18. Study of the modifications needed for effective operation NASTRAN on IBM virtual storage computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccormick, C. W.; Render, K. H.

    1975-01-01

    The necessary modifications were determined to make NASTRAN operational under virtual storage operating systems (VS1 and VS2). Suggested changes are presented which will make NASTRAN operate more efficiently under these systems. Estimates of the cost and time involved in design, coding, and implementation of all suggested modifications are included.

  19. Effect of Timbre and Register Modifications of Musical Stimuli on Young Children's Identification of Chord Changes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costa-Giomi, Eugenia

    1994-01-01

    Reviews research related to children's musical development. Reports on a study of 125 kindergarten and first-grade students on the impact of modification of timbre and register of musical stimuli. Finds that timbre modification helped children recognize chord changes with first graders identifying more changes than did kindergartners. (CFR)

  20. The assessment of cortisol in human hair: associations with sociodemographic variables and potential confounders.

    PubMed

    Dettenborn, L; Tietze, A; Kirschbaum, C; Stalder, T

    2012-11-01

    To inform the future use of hair cortisol measurement, we have investigated influences of potential confounding variables (natural hair colour, frequency of hair washes, age, sex, oral contraceptive (OC) use and smoking status) on hair cortisol levels. The main study sample comprised 360 participants (172 women) covering a wide range of ages (1-91 years; mean = 25.95). In addition, to more closely examine influences of natural hair colour and young age on hair cortisol levels, two additional samples comprising 69 participants with natural blond or dark brown hair (hair colour sample) as well as 28 young children and 34 adults (young age sample) were recruited. Results revealed a lack of an effect for natural hair colour, OC use, and smoking status on hair cortisol levels (all p's >0.10). No influence of frequency of hair washes was seen for proximal hair segments (p = 0.335) but for the third hair segment indicating lower cortisol content (p = 0.008). We found elevated hair cortisol levels in young children and older adults (p < 0.001). Finally, men showed higher hair cortisol levels than women (p = 0.002). The present data indicate that hair cortisol measurement provides a useful tool in stress-related psychobiological research when applied with the consideration of possible confounders including age and sex. PMID:22356099

  1. Child welfare clients have higher risks for teenage childbirths: which are the major confounders?

    PubMed Central

    Vinnerljung, Bo; Hjern, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Background: Aiming to support effective social intervention strategies targeting high-risk groups for teenage motherhood, this study examined to what extent the elevated crude risks of teenage childbirth among child welfare groups were attributable to the uneven distribution of adverse individual and family background factors. Methods: Comprehensive longitudinal register data for more than 700 000 Swedish females born 1973–1989 (including around 29 000 child welfare clients) were analysed by means of binary logistic regression. The Karlson/Holm/Breen-method was used to decompose each confounding factor’s relative contribution to the difference between crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs). Results: Elevated crude risks for teenage childbirth are to a large extent attributable to selection on observables. Girls’ school failure was the most potent confounder, accounting for 28–35% of the difference between crude and adjusted ORs. Conclusion: As in majority populations, girls’ school failure was a strong risk factor for teenage childbirth among former child welfare children. At least among pre-adolescents, promoting school performance among children in the child welfare system seems to be a viable intervention path. PMID:27085195

  2. Review of methods for handling confounding by cluster and informative cluster size in clustered data

    PubMed Central

    Seaman, Shaun; Pavlou, Menelaos; Copas, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Clustered data are common in medical research. Typically, one is interested in a regression model for the association between an outcome and covariates. Two complications that can arise when analysing clustered data are informative cluster size (ICS) and confounding by cluster (CBC). ICS and CBC mean that the outcome of a member given its covariates is associated with, respectively, the number of members in the cluster and the covariate values of other members in the cluster. Standard generalised linear mixed models for cluster-specific inference and standard generalised estimating equations for population-average inference assume, in general, the absence of ICS and CBC. Modifications of these approaches have been proposed to account for CBC or ICS. This article is a review of these methods. We express their assumptions in a common format, thus providing greater clarity about the assumptions that methods proposed for handling CBC make about ICS and vice versa, and about when different methods can be used in practice. We report relative efficiencies of methods where available, describe how methods are related, identify a previously unreported equivalence between two key methods, and propose some simple additional methods. Unnecessarily using a method that allows for ICS/CBC has an efficiency cost when ICS and CBC are absent. We review tools for identifying ICS/CBC. A strategy for analysis when CBC and ICS are suspected is demonstrated by examining the association between socio-economic deprivation and preterm neonatal death in Scotland. PMID:25087978

  3. Confounding variables in the environmental toxicology of arsenic.

    PubMed

    Gebel, T

    2000-04-01

    Arsenic is one of the most important global environmental toxicants. For example, in regions of West Bengal and Inner Mongolia, more than 100000 persons are chronically exposed to well water often strongly contaminated with As. Unfortunately, a toxicologically safe risk assessment and standard setting, especially for long-term and low-dose exposures to arsenic, is not possible. One reason is that the key mechanism of arsenic's tumorigenicity still is not elucidated. Experimental data indicate that either DNA repair inhibition or DNA methylation status alteration may be causal explanations. Moreover, when comparing epidemiological data, it cannot be ruled out that the susceptibility to arsenic's carcinogenicity may be different between Mexican and Taiwanese people. Some other studies indicate that some Andean populations do not develop skin cancer after long-term exposure to As. It is not known yet how this resistance could be mediated. Finally, the situation is even more complicated when taking into consideration that there are several compounds suspected to modulate the chronic environmental toxicity of arsenic, variables that may either enhance or suppress the in vivo genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of the metalloid. Among them are nutritional factors like selenium and zinc as well as drinking water co-contaminants like antimony. Further, yet unidentified factors influencing the body burden and/or the excretion of arsenic are possibly prevailing: preliminary data from own human biomonitoring studies showed a peaking of As in urine samples of non-exposed people which was not caused by elevated exposure to As through seafood consumption. The relevance of these putative confounding variables cannot be finally evaluated yet. Further experimental as well as epidemiological studies are needed to answer these questions. This would help to conduct a toxicologically improved risk assessment, especially for low-dose and long-term exposures to arsenic. PMID:10781883

  4. Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Lifestyle Modification versus Metformin Therapy for the Prevention of Diabetes in Singapore

    PubMed Central

    Png, May Ee; Yoong, Joanne Su-Yin

    2014-01-01

    Background In Singapore, as diabetes is an increasingly important public health issue, the cost-effectiveness of pursuing lifestyle modification programs and/or alternative prevention strategies is of critical importance for policymakers. While the US Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) compared weight loss through lifestyle modification with oral treatment of diabetes drug metformin to prevent/delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in pre-diabetic subjects, no data on either the actual or potential cost effectiveness of such a program is available for East or South-east Asian populations. This study estimates the 3-year cost-effectiveness of lifestyle modification and metformin among pre-diabetic subjects from a Singapore health system and societal perspective. Methodology Cost effectiveness was analysed from 2010–2012 using a decision-based model to estimate the rates of getting diabetes, healthcare costs and health-related quality of life. Cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) was estimated using costs relevant to the time horizon of the study from Singapore. All costs are expressed in 2012 US dollars. Principal Findings The total economic cost for non-diabetic subjects from the societal perspective was US$25,867, US$28,108 and US$26,177 for placebo, lifestyle modification and metformin intervention respectively. For diabetic patients, the total economic cost from the societal perspective was US$32,921, US$35,163 and US$33,232 for placebo, lifestyle modification and metformin intervention respectively. Lifestyle modification relative to placebo is likely to be associated with an incremental cost per QALY gained at US$36,663 while that of metformin intervention is likely to be US$6,367 from a societal perspective. Conclusion Based on adaptation of the DPP data to local conditions, both lifestyle modification and metformin intervention are likely to be cost-effective and worth implementing in Singapore to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. However

  5. Effect of lycopene and {beta}-carotene on peroxynitrite-mediated cellular modifications

    SciTech Connect

    Muzandu, Kaampwe; Ishizuka, Mayumi; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Shaban, Zein; El Bohi, Khlood; Kazusaka, Akio; Fujita, Shoichi . E-mail: fujita@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp

    2006-09-15

    Peroxynitrite formed by the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide is a highly reactive species with a role in various pathological processes such as cancer, chronic inflammation, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. In the present study, the effect of the carotenoids, lycopene and {beta}-carotene, on peroxynitrite-mediated modifications in plasmid DNA as well as cellular DNA and proteins were investigated. In pUC18 plasmid DNA, these carotenoids strongly inhibited DNA strand breaks caused by peroxynitrite generated from 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1). SIN-1 was also used to determine effects on DNA damage and protein tyrosine nitration in Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts. SIN-1 dose-dependently increased nitration of proteins in cells above basal levels as determined by Western blotting. This nitration was inhibited in the presence of the uric acid as well as lycopene. Physiological concentrations (0.31-10 {mu}M) of lycopene and {beta}-carotene also had protective effects on DNA damage, as measured by the comet assay. Lycopene significantly reduced DNA damage particularly, in the median range of concentrations (2.5 {mu}M). The protective effects of lycopene and {beta}-carotene could be due to their scavenging of reactive oxygen (ROS) and/or nitrogen species (RNS) as they reduce the amount of intracellular ROS/RNS produced following treatment with SIN-1 by as much as 47.5% and 42.4%, respectively. The results obtained in this study suggest that carotenoids may alleviate some of the deleterious effects of peroxynitrite and possibly other reactive nitrogen species as well in vivo.

  6. Adverse health effects due to arsenic exposure: Modification by dietary supplementation of jaggery in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nrashant; Kumar, D.; Lal, Kewal; Raisuddin, S.; Sahu, Anand P.

    2010-02-01

    Populations of villages of eastern India and Bangladesh and many other parts of the world are exposed to arsenic mainly through drinking water. Due to non-availability of safe drinking water they are compelled to depend on arsenic-contaminated water. Generally, poverty level is high in those areas and situation is compounded by the lack of proper nutrition. The hypothesis that the deleterious health effects of arsenic can be prevented by modification of dietary factors with the availability of an affordable and indigenous functional food jaggery (sugarcane juice) has been tested in the present study. Jaggery contains polyphenols, vitamin C, carotene and other biologically active components. Arsenic as sodium-m-arsenite at low (0.05 ppm) and high (5 ppm) doses was orally administered to Swiss male albino mice, alone and in combination with jaggery feeding (250 mg/mice), consecutively for 180 days. The serum levels of total antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase were substantially reduced in arsenic-exposed groups, while supplementation of jaggery enhanced their levels in combined treatment groups. The serum levels of interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha were significantly increased in arsenic-exposed groups, while in the arsenic-exposed and jaggery supplemented groups their levels were normal. The comet assay in bone marrow cells showed the genotoxic effects of arsenic, whereas combination with jaggery feeding lessened the DNA damage. Histopathologically, the lung of arsenic-exposed mice showed the necrosis and degenerative changes in bronchiolar epithelium with emphysema and thickening of alveolar septa which was effectively antagonized by jaggery feeding. These results demonstrate that jaggery, a natural functional food, effectively antagonizes many of the adverse effects of arsenic.

  7. Effects of surface modification of talc on mechanical properties of polypropylene/talc composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Keyan; Stadlbauer, Wolfgang; Zitzenbacher, Gernot; Paulik, Christian; Burgstaller, Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Low compatibility of polymer matrix and dispersed filler negatively affects the performance of polymeric composites. In order to improve the adhesion between the components in a compound the polymer matrix or/and the filler particles should be modified with a compatibilizer or/and a coupling agent. An overview of our current research on the effect of the addition of silane treated and untreated talc powders on the mechanical properties of polypropylene/talc composites is presented in this paper. Different silane coupling agents (3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane and 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane) were used to improve the adhesion at the surface of talc powders. Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene was utilized to increase the adhesion between the polypropylene matrix and talc powders. The content of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MA-g-PP) was varied between 1 and 5 wt% in polypropylene/talc composites. The surface modification of talc powders has a significant effect on the interfacial structure and the mechanical properties such as tensile strength and impact strength of polypropylene/talc composites. The experiments show that polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride together with silane surface treatment exhibits the highest potential for improvements in this field.

  8. Flaperon Modification Effect on Jet-Flap Interaction Noise Reduction for Chevron Nozzles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, Russell H.; Mengle, Vinod G.; Stoker, Robert W.; Brusniak, Leon; Elkoby, Ronen

    2007-01-01

    Jet-flap interaction (JFI) noise can become an important component of far field noise when a flap is immersed in the engine propulsive stream or is in its entrained region, as in approach conditions for under-the-wing engine configurations. We experimentally study the effect of modifying the flaperon, which is a high speed aileron between the inboard and outboard flaps, at both approach and take-off conditions using scaled models in a free jet. The flaperon modifications were of two types: sawtooth trailing edge and mini vortex generators (vg s). Parametric variations of these two concepts were tested with a round coaxial nozzle and an advanced chevron nozzle, with azimuthally varying fan chevrons, using both far field microphone arrays and phased microphone arrays for source diagnostics purposes. In general, the phased array results corroborated the far field results in the upstream quadrant pointing to JFI near the flaperon trailing edge as the origin of the far field noise changes. Specific sawtooth trailing edges in conjunction with the round nozzle gave marginal reduction in JFI noise at approach, and parallel co-rotating mini-vg s were somewhat more beneficial over a wider range of angles, but both concepts were noisier at take-off conditions. These two concepts had generally an adverse JFI effect when used in conjunction with the advanced chevron nozzle at both approach and take-off conditions.

  9. Effects of channel modifications on the hydrology of Chicod Creek basin, North Carolina, 1975-87

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, R.R., Jr.; Simmons, C.E.; Watkins, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    Drainage modifications in this Coastal Plain basin from 1978 to 1981 consisted of channel excavation and clearing of blockages. A study was begun in 1975 to define hydrologic conditions of the basin before, during, and after modifications and to determine what changes were attributed to modifications. Surface-water conditions were altered during and following modifications. Minimum flow at Juniper Branch was increased from less than 0.1 cu ft/sec to 0.4 cu ft/second;streamflow variability was reduced from an index of 0.87 to 0.49. In-channel velocity at Chicod Creek was increased from a mean of 0.4 ft/sec to 1.5 ft/sec. Substantial groundwater level declines were observed in wells 180 and 250 ft from Juniper Branch during the modifications phase;these were 0.4 and 0.2 ft, respectively. However, most surface-water and groundwater conditions returned nearly to premodification levels by 1987. Water-quality characteristics monitored during the investigation included physical, chemical, and bacteriological characteristics. Physical characteristics monitored were suspended sediment, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Of these physical characteristics, only sediment concentrations increased substantially during channel modifications. Chemical characteristics studied were major dissolved constituents, nutrients, trace metals, and pesticides. Substantial changes ranged from a decline in total iron concentrations of 77% to an increase in total nitrite concentrations of 130%. Changes in many chemical characteristics persisted following channel modifications. Bacterial counts did not change substantially.

  10. Structural and physico-chemical properties of insoluble rice bran fiber: effect of acid–base induced modifications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The structural modifications of insoluble rice bran fiber (IRBF) by sequential regimes of sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and their effects on the physicochemical attributes were studied. The increment of H2SO4 concentration resulted in decreased water holding capacity that ultimately enhanced the oil bindin...

  11. Synergistic effect of phosphorothioate, 5'-vinylphosphonate and GalNAc modifications for enhancing activity of synthetic siRNA.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Thazha P; Kinberger, Garth A; Murray, Heather M; Chappell, Alfred; Riney, Stan; Graham, Mark J; Lima, Walt F; Swayze, Eric E; Seth, Punit P

    2016-06-15

    Chemical modifications are essential to improve metabolic stability and pharmacokinetic properties of siRNA to enable their systemic delivery. We investigated the effect of combing the phosphorothioate (PS) modification with metabolically stable phosphate analog (E)-5'-vinylphosphonate and GalNAc cluster conjugation on the activity of fully 2'-modified siRNA in cell culture and mice. Our data suggest that integrating multiple chemical approaches in one siRNA molecule improved potency 5-10 fold and provide a roadmap for developing more efficient siRNA drugs. PMID:27161280

  12. Interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptomatology: examination of several personality-related characteristics as potential confounders in a racial/ethnic heterogeneous adult sample

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Research suggests that reports of interpersonal discrimination result in poor mental health. Because personality characteristics may either confound or mediate the link between these reports and mental health, there is a need to disentangle its role in order to better understand the nature of discrimination-mental health association. We examined whether hostility, anger repression and expression, pessimism, optimism, and self-esteem served as confounders in the association between perceived interpersonal discrimination and CESD-based depressive symptoms in a race/ethnic heterogeneous probability-based sample of community-dwelling adults. Methods We employed a series of ordinary least squares regression analyses to examine the potential confounding effect of hostility, anger repression and expression, pessimism, optimism, and self-esteem between interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptoms. Results Hostility, anger repression, pessimism and self-esteem were significant as possible confounders of the relationship between interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptoms, together accounting for approximately 38% of the total association (beta: 0.1892, p < 0.001). However, interpersonal discrimination remained a positive predictor of depressive symptoms (beta: 0.1176, p < 0.001). Conclusion As one of the first empirical attempts to examine the potential confounding role of personality characteristics in the association between reports of interpersonal discrimination and mental health, our results suggest that personality-related characteristics may serve as potential confounders. Nevertheless, our results also suggest that, net of these characteristics, reports of interpersonal discrimination are associated with poor mental health. PMID:24256578

  13. Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies

    PubMed Central

    Shalizi, Cosma Rohilla; Thomas, Andrew C.

    2012-01-01

    The authors consider processes on social networks that can potentially involve three factors: homophily, or the formation of social ties due to matching individual traits; social contagion, also known as social influence; and the causal effect of an individual’s covariates on his or her behavior or other measurable responses. The authors show that generically, all of these are confounded with each other. Distinguishing them from one another requires strong assumptions on the parametrization of the social process or on the adequacy of the covariates used (or both). In particular the authors demonstrate, with simple examples, that asymmetries in regression coefficients cannot identify causal effects and that very simple models of imitation (a form of social contagion) can produce substantial correlations between an individual’s enduring traits and his or her choices, even when there is no intrinsic affinity between them. The authors also suggest some possible constructive responses to these results. PMID:22523436

  14. Diet modification and metformin have a beneficial effect in a fly model of obesity and mucormycosis.

    PubMed

    Shirazi, Fazal; Farmakiotis, Dimitrios; Yan, Yuanqing; Albert, Nathaniel; Do, Kim-Anh; Kim-Anh, Do; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P

    2014-01-01

    In an experimental model of obesity and hyperglycemia in Drosophila melanogaster we studied the effect of diet modification and administration of metformin on systemic infection with Rhizopus, a common cause of mucormycosis in diabetic patients. Female Wt-type Drosophila flies were fed regular (RF) or high-fat diet (HFD; 30% coconut oil) food with or without metformin for 48 h and then injected with R. oryzae. Survival rates, glucose and triglyceride levels were compared between 1) normal-weight flies (RF), 2) obese flies (HFD), 3) obese flies fed with RF, 4) flies continuously fed on HFD + metformin, 5) flies fed on HFD + metformin, then transferred to RF, and 6) obese flies administered metformin after infection [corrected].Glucose levels were compared across groups of non-infected flies and across groups of infected flies. Survival was significantly decreased (P = 0.003) in obese flies, while post-infection glucose levels were significantly increased (P = 0.0001), compared to normal-weight flies. Diet and administration of metformin led to weight loss, normalized glucose levels during infection, and were associated with decreased mortality and tissue fungal burden. In conclusion, diet and metformin help control infection-associated hyperglycemia and improve survival in Drosophila flies with mucormycosis. Fly models of obesity bear intriguing similarities to the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and diabetes in humans, and can provide new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of infections in obese and diabetic patients. PMID:25268492

  15. Effects of genetic modifications to flax (Linum usitatissimum) on arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant performance.

    PubMed

    Wróbel-Kwiatkowska, Magdalena; Turnau, Katarzyna; Góralska, Katarzyna; Anielska, Teresa; Szopa, Jan

    2012-10-01

    Although arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known for their positive effect on flax growth, the impact of genetic manipulation in this crop on arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant performance was assessed for the first time. Five types of transgenic flax that were generated to improve fiber quality and resistance to pathogens, through increased levels of either phenylpropanoids (W92.40), glycosyltransferase (GT4, GT5), or PR2 beta-1,3-glucanase (B14) or produce polyhydroxybutyrate (M50), were used. Introduced genetic modifications did not change the degree of mycorrhizal colonization as compared to parent cultivars Linola and Nike. Arbuscules were well developed in each tested transgenic type (except M50). In two lines (W92.40 and B14), a higher abundance of arbuscules was observed when compared to control, untransformed flax plants. However, in some cases (W92.40, GT4, GT5, and B14 Md), the mycorrhizal dependency for biomass production of transgenic plants was slightly lower when compared to the original cultivars. No significant influence of mycorrhiza on the photosynthetic activity of transformed lines was found, but in most cases P concentration in mycorrhizal plants remained higher than in nonmycorrhizal ones. The transformed flax lines meet the demands for better quality of fiber and higher resistance to pathogens, without significantly influencing the interaction with AMF. PMID:22218809

  16. The effect of surface modification on heavy metal ion removal from water by carbon nanoporous adsorbent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baniamerian, M. J.; Moradi, S. E.; Noori, A.; Salahi, H.

    2009-12-01

    In this work, chemically oxidized mesoporous carbon (COMC) with excellent lead adsorption performance was prepared by an acid surface modification method from mesoporous carbon (MC) by wet impregnation method. The structural order and textural properties of the mesoporous materials were studied by XRD, SEM, and nitrogen adsorption. The presence of carboxylic functional groups on the carbon surface was confirmed by FT-IR analysis. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted to study the effect of adsorbent dose, initial concentration and temperature for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous systems. The adsorption was maximum for the initial pH in the range of 6.5-8.0. The kinetic data were best fitted to the pseudo-second order model. The adsorption of chemically oxidized mesoporous carbon to Pb(II) fits to the Langmuir model. The larger adsorption capacity of chemically oxidized mesoporous carbon for Pb(II) is mainly due to the oxygenous functional groups formed on the surface of COMC which can react with Pb(II) to form salt or complex deposited on the surface of MC.

  17. Centrifugal compressor modifications and their effect on high-frequency pipe wall vibration

    SciTech Connect

    Motriuk, R.W.; Harvey, D.P.

    1998-08-01

    High-frequency pulsation generated by centrifugal compressors, with pressure wave-lengths much smaller than the attached pipe diameter, can cause fatigue failures of the compressor internals, impair compressor performance, and damage the attached compressor piping. There are numerous sources producing pulsation in centrifugal compressors. Some of them are discussed in literature at large (Japikse, 1995; Niese, 1976). NGTL has experienced extreme high-frequency discharge pulsation and pipe wall vibration on many of its radial inlet high-flow centrifugal gas compressor facilities. These pulsations led to several piping attachment failures and compressor internal component failures while the compressor operated within the design envelope. This paper considers several pulsation conditions at an NGTL compression facility which resulted in unacceptable piping vibration. Significant vibration attenuation was achieved by modifying the compressor (pulsation source) through removal of the diffuser vanes and partial removal of the inlet guide vanes (IGV). Direct comparison of the changes in vibration, pulsation, and performance are made for each of the modifications. The vibration problem, probable causes, options available to address the problem, and the results of implementation are reviewed. The effects of diffuser vane removal on discharge pipe wall vibration as well as changes in compressor performance are described.

  18. Pulsed laser cleaning of aluminium-magnesium alloys: effect of surface modifications on adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Autric, Michel; Oltra, Roland

    2008-05-01

    Surface cleaning is a key step in many industrial processes and especially in laser surface treatments. During laser cleaning of metallic alloys using pulsed lasers, surface modification can be induced due to transient thermal effect. In ambient atmospheric conditions, an oxidation of the cleaned surface can be detected. The aim of this work was to characterize this transient oxidation that can occur below the laser energy domain leading to any phase change (melting, ablation) of the cleaned substrate. A Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1.06 μm) with 10 ns pulse duration was used for this study. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectroscopy were used for surface analysis of irradiated samples. Thermal oxidation took place on the aluminium-magnesium alloy (5000 series) during the irradiation in air (fluence range 0.6-1.4 Jcm-2). It has been demonstrated that this 10 ns laser thermal oxidation and the steady state thermal oxidation have the same mechanism. When the laser fluence reached 1 J cm -2 , the oxide formed by the thermal oxidation became in a large extent crystalline and its outer part was entirely covered by a continuous magnesium oxide layer.

  19. Morphological modifications of electrodeposited calcium phosphate coatings under amino acids effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drevet, R.; Lemelle, A.; Untereiner, V.; Manfait, M.; Sockalingum, G. D.; Benhayoune, H.

    2013-03-01

    Calcium phosphate coatings are synthesized on titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) substrates by pulsed electrodeposition. This work aims to observe the morphological modifications of the coating when an amino acid is added to the electrolytic solution used in the process. The effects of two amino acids (glutamic acid and aspartic acid) are studied at a low and a high concentration. The coating morphology is observed at a nanometer scale by field emission gun-scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM). The structural characterization of the coating is performed by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Moreover, corrosion measurements of the prosthetic surfaces are carried out by potentiodynamic polarization experiments in a physiological solution named Dulbecco's modified eagle medium (DMEM). The results show that the addition of an amino acid to the electrolytic solution leads to the decrease of the size of the crystallites which compose the prosthetic calcium phosphate coating that becomes denser and less porous than the coatings obtained without amino acid. Consequently, the corrosion behavior of the prosthetic material immersed in DMEM is improved.

  20. Comprehensive characterization of well-defined silk fibroin surfaces: Toward multitechnique studies of surface modification effects.

    PubMed

    Amornsudthiwat, Phakdee; Nitschke, Mirko; Zimmermann, Ralf; Friedrichs, Jens; Grundke, Karina; Pöschel, Kathrin; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Werner, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    The study aims at a comprehensive surface characterization of untreated and oxygen plasma-treated silk fibroin with a particular focus on phenomena relevant to biointeraction and cell adhesion. For that purpose, a range of advanced surface diagnostic techniques is employed to thoroughly investigate well-defined and especially clean silk fibroin samples in a comparable setting. This includes surface chemistry and surface charges as factors, which control protein adsorption, but also hydration and swelling of the material as important parameters, which govern the mechanical stiffness at the interface with aqueous media. Oxygen plasma exposure of silk fibroin surfaces reveals that material ablation strongly predominates over the introduction of functional groups even for mild plasma conditions. A substantial increase in mechanical stiffness is identified as the most prominent effect upon this kind of plasma treatment. Regarding the experimental approach and the choice of techniques, the work goes beyond previous studies in this field and paves the way for well-founded investigations of other surface-selective modification procedures that enhance the applicability of silk fibroin in biomedical applications. PMID:25899685

  1. Effects of single and dual physical modifications on pinhão starch.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Vânia Zanella; Vanier, Nathan Levien; Deon, Vinicius Gonçalves; Moomand, Khalid; El Halal, Shanise Lisie Mello; Zavareze, Elessandra da Rosa; Lim, Loong-Tak; Dias, Alvaro Renato Guerra

    2015-11-15

    Pinhão starch was modified by annealing (ANN), heat-moisture (HMT) or sonication (SNT) treatments. The starch was also modified by a combination of these treatments (ANN-HMT, ANN-SNT, HMT-ANN, HMT-SNT, SNT-ANN, SNT-HMT). Whole starch and debranched starch fractions were analyzed by gel-permeation chromatography. Moreover, crystallinity, morphology, swelling power, solubility, pasting and gelatinization characteristics were evaluated. Native and single ANN and SNT-treated starches exhibited a CA-type crystalline structure while other modified starches showed an A-type structure. The relative crystallinity increased in ANN-treated starches and decreased in single HMT- and SNT-treated starches. The ANN, HMT and SNT did not provide visible cracks, notches or grooves to pinhão starch granule. SNT applied as second treatment was able to increase the peak viscosity of single ANN- and HMT-treated starches. HMT used alone or in dual modifications promoted the strongest effect on gelatinization temperatures and enthalpy. PMID:25977003

  2. Synergistic effect of cationic and anionic surfactants for the modification of Ca-montmorillonite

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Zepeng; Zhang, Jichu; Liao, Libing; Xia, Zhiguo

    2013-05-15

    Highlights: ► The basal spacing of MMT–CTAB–SDS reaches 5.30 nm. ► MMT–CTAB–SDS shows perfect dispersion property and excellent heat resistance. ► SDS helped to improve the heat resistance and decrease the surface energy of the MMT–CTAB–SDS particles. - Abstract: The synergistic effect of cationic surfactant (CTAB) and anionic surfactant (SDS) for the modification of Ca-montmorillonite (Ca-MMT) has been developed, and the novel cation–anion modified organomontmorillonite (MMT–CTAB–SDS) was prepared. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis indicates that the interlayer spacing of montmorillonite was well expanded by the intercalation of CTAB and SDS and the basal spacing increased from 1.54 nm (Ca-MMT) to 5.30 nm (MMT–CTAB–SDS). Thermogravimetric analysis (TG) showed that the MMT–CTAB–SDS displayed excellent heat resistance. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis proved that the MMT–CTAB–SDS exhibited excellent dispersion property and the plates with few silicate layers can be observed. Contact angle tests indicated that the hydrophilicity of MMT–CTAB–SDS was lower than that of Ca-MMT and higher than that of MMT–CTAB. It was verified that SDS contributed to expanding the interlayer space, further improved the heat resistance of the MMT–CTAB and decreased the surface energy of the MMT–CTAB–SDS particles.

  3. The effects of surface modification on the speciation of metal ions intercalated into aluminosilicates

    SciTech Connect

    Wasserman, S.R.; Giaquinta, D.M.; Yuchs, S.E.; Soderholm, L.

    1996-12-31

    Microporous aluminosilicates, including clay minerals and zeolites, are ion-exchange materials. In their most common forms, they have the ability to incorporate cationic species within their matrices. Because of this property, microporous aluminosilicates have been proposed as storage media for hazardous waste. In this paper the authors use X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to examine the structure of cations held within smectite clay minerals and to determine how modification of the surface of the clay using an organic monolayer affects the coordination of the stored cation. The effects of hydrothermal and thermal processing on the coordination of the ions contained within these systems are also investigated. The presence of the monolayer changes the surface of the clay from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. It inhibits the interlayer ions from exchanging freely into environmental water and reduces the leach rate of cations out of the clay by approximately a factor of 20. Significant changes are observed when these coated samples are treated under hydrothermal and thermal conditions. Reductions of uranium (VI), in the form of uranyl, and cupric ions occur. In addition, the uranium aggregates, forming small particles that appear similar to UO{sub 2}. Comparable conglomeration occurs with lead cations and with the reduced copper species.

  4. Gastrointestinal modifications and bioavailability of brown seaweed phlorotannins and effects on inflammatory markers.

    PubMed

    Corona, Giulia; Ji, Yang; Anegboonlap, Prapaporn; Hotchkiss, Sarah; Gill, Chris; Yaqoob, Parveen; Spencer, Jeremy P E; Rowland, Ian

    2016-04-14

    Brown seaweeds such as Ascophyllum nodosum are a rich source of phlorotannins (oligomers and polymers of phloroglucinol units), a class of polyphenols that are unique to Phaeophyceae. At present, there is no information on the bioavailability of seaweed polyphenols and limited evidence on their bioactivity in vivo. Consequently, we investigated the gastrointestinal modifications in vitro of seaweed phlorotannins from A. nodosum and their bioavailability and effect on inflammatory markers in healthy participants. In vitro, some phlorotannin oligomers were identified after digestion and colonic fermentation. In addition, seven metabolites corresponding to in vitro-absorbed metabolites were identified. Urine and plasma samples contained a variety of metabolites attributed to both unconjugated and conjugated metabolites (glucuronides and/or sulphates). In both urine and plasma, the majority of the metabolites were found in samples collected at late time points (6-24 h), suggesting colonic metabolism of high-molecular-weight phlorotannins, with three phlorotannin oligomers (hydroxytrifuhalol A, 7-hydroxyeckol, C-O-C dimer of phloroglucinol) identified in urine samples. A significant increase of the cytokine IL-8 was also observed. Our study shows for the first time that seaweed phlorotannins are metabolised and absorbed, predominantly in the large intestine, and there is a large inter-individual variation in their metabolic profile. Three phlorotannin oligomers present in the capsule are excreted in urine. Our study is the first investigation of the metabolism and bioavailability of seaweed phlorotannins and the role of colonic biotransformation. In addition, IL-8 is a possible target for phlorotannin bioactivity. PMID:26879487

  5. The effects of early grade retention: Effect modification by prior achievement and age.

    PubMed

    Vandecandelaere, Machteld; Vansteelandt, Stijn; De Fraine, Bieke; Van Damme, Jan

    2016-02-01

    This study examines the effects of early grade retention and different effects according to prior achievement and age. Within a population of children at risk of early retention, we compared the development throughout primary school in mathematics achievement after kindergarten retention, first-grade retention, and continuous promotion. Analyzing data from a large-scale longitudinal study using covariate balancing propensity score weighting, the findings revealed that early grade repeaters would score higher in mathematics if they were promoted each year instead. However, the effects diminished or even disappeared in the long term. Compared to kindergarten retention, first-grade retention was found to be more harmful for the mathematics development of younger children specifically. PMID:26790704

  6. Effects of ceria modification of H-mordenite on the shape-selective alkylation of biphenyl and naphthalene

    SciTech Connect

    Matsuzaki, T.; Hanaoka, T.; Kim, J.H.; Nakajima, K.; Tawada, S.; Kubota, Y.; Sugi, Y.

    1999-07-01

    The effects of the modification with ceria to H-mordenite (HM, SiO{sub 2}/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} = 128) were investigated for the shape-selective alkylation of biphenyl and naphthalene. Such a large amount as 10--50 wt% of ceria-modification was revealed to be effective for the deactivation of external acid sites of HM. In the isopropylation of biphenyl (BP), the selectivity of 4,4{prime}-diisopropylbiphenyl (4,4{prime}-DIPB) kept high over Ce-modified HM even at a high reaction temperature at which temperature the selectivity fell down to quite low over unmodified HM. The effect was due to the prevention of the isomerization of 4,4{prime}-DIPB which occurred on the HM external acid site. The selectivity of 2,6-diisopropynaphthalene (2,6-DIPN) in the isopropylation of naphthalene (NP) was enhanced by the modification without significant decrease of catalytic activity: the highest selectivity for 2,6-DIPN was achieved up to 70% over HM with 30 wt% of cerium. The enhancement of the selectivities of 2,6-DIPN and 4,4{prime}-DIPB by ceria-modification is ascribed to the decrease of external acid sites to catalyze non-regioselective alkylation and the isomerization of products.

  7. Temperature, Myocardial Infarction, and Mortality: Effect Modification by Individual and Area-Level Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Madrigano, Jaime; Mittleman, Murray A.; Baccarelli, Andrea; Goldberg, Robert; Melly, Steven; von Klot, Stephanie; Schwartz, Joel

    2014-01-01

    Background While several studies have examined associations between temperature and cardiovascular-disease-related mortality, fewer have investigated the association between temperature and the development of acute myocardial infarction (MI). Moreover, little is known about who is most susceptible to the effects of temperature. Methods We analyzed data from the Worcester Heart Attack Study, a community-wide investigation of acute MI in residents of the Worcester (MA) metropolitan area. We used a case-crossover approach to examine the association of apparent temperature with acute MI occurrence and with all-cause in-hospital and post-discharge mortality. We examined effect modification by sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, clinical complications, and physical environment. Results A decrease in an interquartile range (IQR) in apparent temperature was associated with an increased risk of acute MI on the same day (hazard ratio=1.15 [95% confidence interval= 1.01–1.31]). Extreme cold during the 2 days prior was associated with an increased risk of acute MI (1.36 [1.07–1.74]). Extreme heat during the two days prior was also associated with an increased risk of mortality (1.44 [1.06–1.96]). Persons living in areas with greater poverty were more susceptible to heat. Conclusions Exposure to cold increased the risk of acute MI, and exposure to heat increased the risk of dying after an acute MI. Local area vulnerability should be accounted for as cities prepare to adapt to weather fluctuations as a result of climate change. PMID:23462524

  8. Modification of the effect of ambient air pollution on pediatric asthma emergency visits: susceptible subpopulations

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Matthew J; Klein, Mitchel; Flanders, W Dana; Chang, Howard H; Mulholland, James A; Tolbert, Paige E; Darrow, Lyndsey A

    2016-01-01

    Background Children may have differing susceptibility to ambient air pollution concentrations depending on various background characteristics of the children. Methods Using emergency department (ED) data linked with birth records from Atlanta, Georgia, we identified ED visits for asthma or wheeze among children aged 2–16 years from 1 January 2002 through 30 June 2010 (n=109,758). We stratified by preterm delivery, term low birth weight, maternal race, Medicaid status, maternal education, maternal smoking, delivery method, and history of a bronchiolitis ED visit. Population-weighted daily average concentrations were calculated for 1-hour maximum carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide; 8-hour maximum ozone; and 24-hour average particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter, particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), and the PM2.5 components sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, elemental carbon, and organic carbon, using measurements from stationary monitors. Poisson time-series models were used to estimate rate ratios for associations between three-day moving average pollutant concentrations and daily ED visit counts and to investigate effect-measure modification by the stratification factors. Results Associations between pollutant concentrations and asthma exacerbations were larger among children born preterm and among children born to African American mothers. Stratification by race and preterm status together suggested that both factors affected susceptibility. The largest estimated effect size (for an interquartile-range increase in pollution) was observed for ozone among preterm births to African American mothers: rate ratio=1.138 (95% confidence interval=1.077–1.203). In contrast, the rate ration for the ozone association among full-term births to mothers of other races was 1.025 (0.970–1.083). Conclusions Results support the hypothesis that children vary in their susceptibility to ambient air pollutants. PMID:25192402

  9. Effects of Extinction on Classical Conditioning and Conditioning-Specific Reflex Modification of Rabbit Heart Rate

    PubMed Central

    Burhans, Lauren B.; Smith-Bell, Carrie; Schreurs, Bernard G.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of fear extinction has become increasingly important for treating a number of disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Conditioning of rabbit heart rate (HR) is an established model for studying fear, yet little is known about procedures for extinguishing it other than repeated presentations of cue(s) associated with the fear-inducing event. The following study examined the effects of conditioned stimulus (CS) alone, unconditioned stimulus (US) alone, unpaired CS/US presentations, continued CS-US pairings, or no further stimulation on rabbit HR following HR conditioning. We have previously shown the rabbit HR response to the US can change as a function of learning when measured in the absence of the CS, a phenomenon referred to as conditioning-specific reflex modification (CRM). More specifically, the HR exhibits a deceleration in response to the US reminiscent of the conditioned bradycardia that develops to the CS. Consequently, the following study also examined the effects of extinction treatments on HR CRM. For HR conditioned responses (CRs), CS-alone and unpaired CS/US presentations were the most successful extinction treatments. For HR CRM, all conditions led to a reduction in CRM except for a subset of rabbits that maintained high levels following unpaired extinction, indicating a dissociation between extinction of HR CRs and CRM. The findings highlight the parameters of HR extinction, the transient nature of HR CRM, vagal involvement in both acquisition and extinction of HR CRM, and suggest that HR CRM cannot be fully explained as a CR that has generalized from the CS to the US. PMID:19747508

  10. Confounding by dietary patterns of the inverse association between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiology of dietary components and disease risk limits interpretability due to potential residual confounding by correlated dietary components. Dietary pattern analyses by factor analysis or partial least squares may overcome this limitation. To examine confounding by dietary pattern as well as ...

  11. Confounding by dietary pattern of the inverse association between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiology of dietary components and disease risk limits interpretability due to potential residual confounding by correlated dietary components. Dietary pattern analyses by factor analysis or partial least squares may overcome the limitation. To examine confounding by dietary pattern as well as ...

  12. LD Score regression distinguishes confounding from polygenicity in genome-wide association studies.

    PubMed

    Bulik-Sullivan, Brendan K; Loh, Po-Ru; Finucane, Hilary K; Ripke, Stephan; Yang, Jian; Patterson, Nick; Daly, Mark J; Price, Alkes L; Neale, Benjamin M

    2015-03-01

    Both polygenicity (many small genetic effects) and confounding biases, such as cryptic relatedness and population stratification, can yield an inflated distribution of test statistics in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, current methods cannot distinguish between inflation from a true polygenic signal and bias. We have developed an approach, LD Score regression, that quantifies the contribution of each by examining the relationship between test statistics and linkage disequilibrium (LD). The LD Score regression intercept can be used to estimate a more powerful and accurate correction factor than genomic control. We find strong evidence that polygenicity accounts for the majority of the inflation in test statistics in many GWAS of large sample size. PMID:25642630

  13. gespeR: a statistical model for deconvoluting off-target-confounded RNA interference screens.

    PubMed

    Schmich, Fabian; Szczurek, Ewa; Kreibich, Saskia; Dilling, Sabrina; Andritschke, Daniel; Casanova, Alain; Low, Shyan Huey; Eicher, Simone; Muntwiler, Simone; Emmenlauer, Mario; Rämö, Pauli; Conde-Alvarez, Raquel; von Mering, Christian; Hardt, Wolf-Dietrich; Dehio, Christoph; Beerenwinkel, Niko

    2015-01-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) exhibit strong off-target effects, which confound the gene-level interpretation of RNA interference screens and thus limit their utility for functional genomics studies. Here, we present gespeR, a statistical model for reconstructing individual, gene-specific phenotypes. Using 115,878 siRNAs, single and pooled, from three companies in three pathogen infection screens, we demonstrate that deconvolution of image-based phenotypes substantially improves the reproducibility between independent siRNA sets targeting the same genes. Genes selected and prioritized by gespeR are validated and shown to constitute biologically relevant components of pathogen entry mechanisms and TGF-β signaling. gespeR is available as a Bioconductor R-package. PMID:26445817

  14. Proteasome inhibitor model of Parkinson's disease in mice is confounded by neurotoxicity of the ethanol vehicle.

    PubMed

    Landau, Anne M; Kouassi, Edouard; Siegrist-Johnstone, Rosmarie; Desbarats, Julie

    2007-02-15

    Defects in the ubiquitin-proteasome system have been implicated in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Recently, a rat model of PD was developed using a synthetic proteasome inhibitor (PSI), (Z-lle-Glu(OtBu)-Ala-Leu-al). We attempted to transfer this model to mouse studies, where genetics can be more readily investigated due to the availability of genetically modified mice. We treated C57BL/6 (B6) mice with six intraperitoneal injections of 6 mg/kg PSI in 50 mul of 70% ethanol over a 2-week-period. We found significant decreases in nigrostriatal dopamine in PSI-treated mice compared with saline-treated mice. However, we observed similar decreases in the ethanol-treated vehicle control group. Administration of ethanol alone led to significant long-term alterations in dopamine levels. Ethanol significantly eclipses the effects of PSI in the dopamine system, and therefore is a confounding vehicle for this model. PMID:17230468

  15. Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone.

    PubMed

    Kumagai, Hiroshi; Zempo-Miyaki, Asako; Yoshikawa, Toru; Tsujimoto, Takehiko; Tanaka, Kiyoji; Maeda, Seiji

    2016-01-01

    Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Obesity results in reduced serum testosterone levels, which causes many disorders in men. Lifestyle modifications (increased physical activity and calorie restriction) can increase serum testosterone levels. However, it is unknown whether increased physical activity or calorie restriction during lifestyle modifications has a greater effects on serum testosterone levels. Forty-one overweight and obese men completed a 12-week lifestyle modification program (aerobic exercise training and calorie restriction). We measured serum testosterone levels, the number of steps, and the total energy intake. We divided participants into two groups based on the median change in the number of steps (high or low physical activities) or that in calorie restriction (high or low calorie restrictions). After the program, serum testosterone levels were significantly increased. Serum testosterone levels in the high physical activity group were significantly higher than those in the low activity group. This effect was not observed between the groups based on calorie restriction levels. We found a significant positive correlation between the changes in serum testosterone levels and the number of steps. Our results suggested that an increase in physical activity greatly affected the increased serum testosterone levels in overweight and obese men during lifestyle modification. PMID:26798202

  16. Airfoil modification effects on subsonic and transonic pressure distributions and performance for the EA-6B airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allison, Dennis O.; Sewall, William G.

    1995-01-01

    Longitudinal characteristics and wing-section pressure distributions are compared for the EA-6B airplane with and without airfoil modifications. The airfoil modifications were designed to increase low-speed maximum lift for maneuvering, while having a minimal effect on transonic performance. Section contour changes were confined to the leading-edge slat and trailing-edge flap regions of the wing. Experimental data are analyzed from tests in the Langley 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel on the baseline and two modified wing-fuselage configurations with the slats and flaps in their retracted positions. Wing modification effects on subsonic and transonic performance are seen in wing-section pressure distributions of the various configurations at similar lift coefficients. The modified-wing configurations produced maximum lift coefficients which exceeded those of the baseline configuration at low-speed Mach numbers (0.300 and 0.400). This benefit was related to the behavior of the wing upper surface leading-edge suction peak and the behavior of the trailing-edge pressure. At transonic Mach numbers (0.725 to 0.900), the wing modifications produced a somewhat stronger nose-down pitching moment, a slightly higher drag at low-lift levels, and a lower drag at higher lift levels.

  17. Investigating the effects of in utero benzene exposure on epigenetic modifications in maternal and fetal CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Philbrook, Nicola A; Winn, Louise M

    2015-11-15

    Exposure to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant benzene is positively correlated with leukemia in adults and may be associated with childhood leukemia following in utero exposure. While numerous studies implicate oxidative stress and DNA damage as playing a role in benzene-mediated carcinogenicity, emerging evidence suggests that alterations in epigenetic regulations may be involved. The present study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation and/or various histone modifications were altered following in utero benzene exposure in CD-1 mice. Global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation of the tumor suppressor gene, p15, were assessed. Additionally, levels of acetylated histones H3, H4, and H3K56, as well as methylated histones H3K9 and H3K27 were assessed by Western blotting. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation of maternal bone marrow was observed following benzene exposure; however no effect on global DNA methylation was detected in fetal livers. Additionally, no effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation or any measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers. These results suggest that the methodology used in the present study did not reveal alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications following in utero exposure to benzene; however further experimentation investigating these modifications at the whole genome/epigenome level, as well as at later stages of benzene-induced carcinogenesis, are warranted. PMID:26341289

  18. Effects of molecular architecture of phospholipid polymers on surface modification of segmented polyurethanes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yihua; Inoue, Yuuki; Sakata, Sho; Kakinoki, Sachiro; Yamaoka, Tetsuji; Ishihara, Kazuhiko

    2014-01-01

    To modify the surface properties of segmented polyurethane (SPU), effects of the molecular architecture of the 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymers on the performance of the SPU/MPC polymer membrane were investigated. We combined the random-type, block-type, and graft-type of the MPC polymers with a typical SPU, Tecoflex(®) using double solution casting procedure. The graft-type MPC polymers composed of a poly(MPC) main chain and poly(2-ethylhexyl methacrylate (EHMA)) side chains were synthesized through the combination of two different living radical polymerization techniques to regulate the density and chain length of the side chains. The SPU membranes modified with the MPC polymers were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results revealed that the MPC units were located on the SPU surface. Although the breaking strength of the SPU membranes modified with block-type poly(MPC-block-EHMA) and graft-type poly(MPC-graft-EHMA) was lower than that of SPU membranes modified with random-type poly(MPC-random-EHMA), their breaking strengths were adequate for manufacturing medical devices. On the other hand, better stability was observed in the MPC polymer layer on the SPU membrane after immersion in an aqueous medium, wherein the SPU membrane had been modified with the poly(MPC-graft-EHMA). This was because of the intermixing of the hydrophobic poly(EHMA) segments in the domain of the hard segments in the SPU membrane. After this modification, each SPU/MPC polymer membrane showed hydrophilic nature based on the MPC polymers and a dramatic suppression of protein adsorption. From these results, we concluded that the SPU membrane modified with the poly(MPC-graft-EHMA) was one of the promising polymeric biomaterials for making blood-contacting medical devices. PMID:24417469

  19. Effect of Mn Addition on Microstructural Modification and Cracking Behavior of Ferritic Light-Weight Steels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Seok Su; Lee, Byeong-Joo; Lee, Sunghak; Kwak, Jai-Hyun

    2014-11-01

    In the present study, effects of Mn addition on cracking phenomenon occurring during cold rolling of ferritic light-weight steels were clarified in relation to microstructural modification involving κ-carbide, austenite, and martensite. Four steels were fabricated by varying Mn contents of 3 to 12 wt pct, and edge areas of steel sheets containing 6 to 9 wt pct Mn were cracked during the cold rolling. The steels were basically composed of ferrite and austenite in a band shape, but a considerable amount of κ-carbide or martensite existed in the steels containing 3 to 6 wt pct Mn. Microstructural observation of the deformed region of fractured tensile specimens revealed that cracks which were initiated at ferrite/martensite interfacial κ-carbides readily propagated along ferrite/martensite interfaces or into martensite areas in the steel containing 6 wt pct Mn, thereby leading to the center or edge cracking during the cold rolling. In the steel containing 9 wt pct Mn, edge cracks were found in the final stage of cold rolling because of the formation of martensite by the strain-induced austenite to martensite transformation, whereas they were hardly formed in the steel containing 12 wt pct Mn. To prevent or minimize the cracking, it was recommended that the formation of martensite during the cooling from the hot rolling temperature or during the cold rolling should be suppressed, which could be achieved by the enhancement of thermal or mechanical stability of austenite with decreasing austenite grain size or increasing contents of austenite stabilizers.

  20. Effects of ligand modification and protonation on metal oxime hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Solis, Brian H; Yu, Yinxi; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon

    2013-06-17

    The design of hydrogen-evolving electrocatalysts that operate at modest overpotentials is important for solar energy devices. The M(II/I) reduction potential for metal diimine-dioxime and diglyoxime electrocatalysts is often related to the overpotential required for hydrogen evolution. Herein the impact of ligand modification and protonation on the M(II/I) reduction potentials for cobalt, nickel, and iron diimine-dioxime and diglyoxime complexes is investigated with computational methods. The calculations are consistent with experimental data available for some of these complexes and additionally provide predictions for complexes that have not yet been synthesized. The calculated pKa's imply that ligand protonation is likely to occur at the O-H-O bridge but not at other ligand sites for these complexes. Moreover, the calculations imply that a ligand-protonated Co(III)-hydride intermediate is formed along the H2 production pathway for catalysts containing an O-H-O bridge in the presence of sufficiently strong acid. The calculated M(II/I) reduction potentials indicate that the anodic shift due to protonation of the O-H-O bridge is greater than that due to replacing the O-H-O bridge with an O-BF2-O bridge for cobalt and nickel but not for iron complexes. Experiments suggest degradation for complexes with two O-H-O bridges and alternative mechanisms for certain iron complexes with two O-BF2-O bridges. Asymmetric cobalt, nickel, and strongly electron withdrawing substituted iron diimine-dioxime and diglyoxime complexes containing a single O-H-O bridge are proposed to be effective hydrogen evolution electrocatalysts with relatively low overpotentials in acetonitrile and water. These insights are important for the design of efficient aqueous-based hydrogen-evolving catalysts. PMID:23701462

  1. Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A-Mediated Incorporation of Peptides: Effect of Peptide Modification on Incorporation

    PubMed Central

    Hansenová Maňásková, Silvie; Nazmi, Kamran; van ‘t Hof, Wim; van Belkum, Alex; Martin, Nathaniel I.; Bikker, Floris J.; van Wamel, Willem J. B.; Veerman, Enno C. I.

    2016-01-01

    The endogenous Staphylococcus aureus sortase A (SrtA) transpeptidase covalently anchors cell wall-anchored (CWA) proteins equipped with a specific recognition motif (LPXTG) into the peptidoglycan layer of the staphylococcal cell wall. Previous in situ experiments have shown that SrtA is also able to incorporate exogenous, fluorescently labelled, synthetic substrates equipped with the LPXTG motif (K(FITC)LPETG-amide) into the bacterial cell wall, albeit at high concentrations of 500 μM to 1 mM. In the present study, we have evaluated the effect of substrate modification on the incorporation efficiency. This revealed that (i) by elongation of LPETG-amide with a sequence of positively charged amino acids, derived from the C-terminal domain of physiological SrtA substrates, the incorporation efficiency was increased by 20-fold at 10 μM, 100 μM and 250 μM; (ii) Substituting aspartic acid (E) for methionine increased the incorporation of the resulting K(FITC)LPMTG-amide approximately three times at all concentrations tested; (iii) conjugation of the lipid II binding antibiotic vancomycin to K(FITC)LPMTG-amide resulted in the same incorporation levels as K(FITC)LPETG-amide, but much more efficient at an impressive 500-fold lower substrate concentration. These newly developed synthetic substrates can potentially find broad applications in for example the in situ imaging of bacteria; the incorporation of antibody recruiting moieties; the targeted delivery and covalent incorporation of antimicrobial compounds into the bacterial cell wall. PMID:26799839

  2. New covalent modifications of phosphatidylethanolamine by alkanals: mass spectrometry based structural characterization and biological effects

    PubMed Central

    Annibal, Andrea; Schubert, Kristin; Wagner, Ulf; Hoffmann, Ralf; Schiller, Jürgen; Fedorova, Maria

    2014-01-01

    The pathophysiology of numerous human disorders, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's disease, is accompanied by increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can oxidatively damage nearly all biomolecules, including lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. In particular, (poly)unsaturated fatty acids within the phospholipid (PL) structure are easily oxidized by ROS to lipid peroxidation products (LPP) carrying reactive carbonyl groups. Carbonylated LPP are characterized by high in vivo toxicity due to their reactivity with nucleophilic substrates (Lys-, Cys-and His-residues in proteins or amino groups of phosphatidylethanolamines [PE]). Adducts of unsaturated LPP with PE amino groups have been reported before, whereas less is known about the reactivity of saturated alkanals – which are significantly increased in vivo under oxidative stress conditions – towards nucleophilic groups of PLs. Here, we present a study of new alkanal-dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (DPPE) adducts by MS-based approaches, using consecutive fragmentation (MSn) and multiple reaction monitoring techniques. At least eight different DPPE–hexanal adducts were identified, including Schiff base and amide adducts, six of which have not been reported before. The structures of these new compounds were determined by their fragmentation patterns using MSn experiments. The new PE-hexanal adducts contained dimeric and trimeric hexanal conjugates, including cyclic adducts. A new pyridine ring containing adduct of DPPE and hexanal was purified by HPLC, and its biological effects were investigated. Incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and monocytes with modified DPPE did not result in increased production of TNF-α as one selected inflammation marker. However, incorporation of modified DPPE into 1,2-dipalmitoleoyl-sn-phosphatidylethanolamine multilamellar vesicles resulted in a negative shift of the transition temperature, indicating a possible role of

  3. Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A-Mediated Incorporation of Peptides: Effect of Peptide Modification on Incorporation.

    PubMed

    Hansenová Maňásková, Silvie; Nazmi, Kamran; van 't Hof, Wim; van Belkum, Alex; Martin, Nathaniel I; Bikker, Floris J; van Wamel, Willem J B; Veerman, Enno C I

    2016-01-01

    The endogenous Staphylococcus aureus sortase A (SrtA) transpeptidase covalently anchors cell wall-anchored (CWA) proteins equipped with a specific recognition motif (LPXTG) into the peptidoglycan layer of the staphylococcal cell wall. Previous in situ experiments have shown that SrtA is also able to incorporate exogenous, fluorescently labelled, synthetic substrates equipped with the LPXTG motif (K(FITC)LPETG-amide) into the bacterial cell wall, albeit at high concentrations of 500 μM to 1 mM. In the present study, we have evaluated the effect of substrate modification on the incorporation efficiency. This revealed that (i) by elongation of LPETG-amide with a sequence of positively charged amino acids, derived from the C-terminal domain of physiological SrtA substrates, the incorporation efficiency was increased by 20-fold at 10 μM, 100 μM and 250 μM; (ii) Substituting aspartic acid (E) for methionine increased the incorporation of the resulting K(FITC)LPMTG-amide approximately three times at all concentrations tested; (iii) conjugation of the lipid II binding antibiotic vancomycin to K(FITC)LPMTG-amide resulted in the same incorporation levels as K(FITC)LPETG-amide, but much more efficient at an impressive 500-fold lower substrate concentration. These newly developed synthetic substrates can potentially find broad applications in for example the in situ imaging of bacteria; the incorporation of antibody recruiting moieties; the targeted delivery and covalent incorporation of antimicrobial compounds into the bacterial cell wall. PMID:26799839

  4. The effect of speech modification on non-native listeners for matrix-style sentences.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Martin; García Lecumberri, María Luisa; Tang, Yan

    2015-02-01

    Speech can be modified to promote intelligibility in noise, but the potential benefits for non-native listeners are difficult to predict due to the additional presence of distortion introduced by speech alteration. The current study compared native and non-native listeners' keyword scores for simple sentences, unmodified and with six forms of modification. Both groups showed similar patterns of intelligibility change across conditions, with the native cohort benefiting slightly more in stationary noise. This outcome suggests that the change in masked audibility rather than distortion is the dominant factor governing listeners' responses to speech modification. PMID:25698043

  5. Behavior modification.

    PubMed

    Pelham, W E; Fabiano, G A

    2000-07-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic and substantially impairing disorder. This means that treatment must also be chronic and substantial. Behavior Modification, and in many cases, the combination of behavior modification and stimulant medication, is a valid, useful treatment for reducing the pervasive impairment experienced by children with ADHD. Based on the research evidence reviewed, behavior modification should be the first line of treatment for children with ADHD. PMID:10944662

  6. The effect of RGD fluorosurfactant polymer modification of ePTFE on endothelial cell adhesion, growth, and function

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Coby C.; Kligman, Faina; Kottke-Marchant, Kandice; Marchant, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    We have synthesized and characterized a novel peptide fluorosurfactant polymer (PFSP) modification that facilitates the adhesion and growth of endothelial cells on ePTFE vascular graft material. This PFSP consists of a poly(vinyl amine) (PVAm) backbone with integrin binding Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides and perfluorocarbon pendant branches for adsorption and stable adhesion to underlying ePTFE. Aqueous PFSP solution was used to modify the surface of fluorocarbon substrates. Following subconfluent seeding, endothelial cell (EC) adhesion and growth on PFSP was assessed by determining cell population at different time points. Spectroscopic results indicated successful synthesis of PFSP. PFSP modification of ePTFE reduced the receding water contact angle measurement from 120° to 6°, indicating successful surface modification. Quantification of cell population demonstrated reduced EC attachment efficiency but increased growth rate on RGD PFSP compared with fibronectin (FN). Actin staining revealed a well-developed cytoskeleton for ECs on RGD PFSP indicative of stable adhesion. Uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein and positive staining for VE-Cadherin confirm EC phenotype for adherent cells. Production of prostacyclin, a potent antiplatelet agent, was equivalent between ECs on FN and RGD PFSP surfaces. Our results indicate successful synthesis and surface modification with PFSP; this is a simple, quantitative, and effective approach to modifying ePTFE to encourage endothelial cell attachment, growth, and function. PMID:16762410

  7. Anode modification with formic acid: A simple and effective method to improve the power generation of microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Weifeng; Cheng, Shaoan; Guo, Jian

    2014-11-01

    The physicochemical properties of anode material directly affect the anodic biofilm formation and electron transfer, thus are critical for the power generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this work, carbon cloth anode was modified with formic acid to enhance the power production of MFCs. Formic acid modification of anode increased the maximum power density of a single-chamber air-cathode MFC by 38.1% (from 611.5 ± 6 mW/m2 to 877.9 ± 5 mW/m2). The modification generated a cleaner electrode surface and a reduced content of oxygen and nitrogen groups on the anode. The surface changes facilitated bacterial growth on the anode and resulted in an optimized microbial community. Thus, the electron transfer rate on the modified anodes was enhanced remarkably, contributing to a higher power output of MFCs. Anode modification with formic acid could be an effective and simple method for improving the power generation of MFCs. The modification method holds a huge potential for large scale applications and is valuable for the scale-up and commercialization of microbial fuel cells.

  8. Endwall shape modification using vortex generators and fences to improve gas turbine cooling and effectiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokce, Zeki Ozgur

    The gas turbine is one of the most important parts of the air-breathing jet engine. Hence, improving its efficiency and rendering it operable under high temperatures are constant goals for the aerospace industry. Two types of flow within the gas turbine are of critical relevance: The flow around the first row of stator blades (also known as the nozzle guide vane blade - NGV) and the cooling flow inside the turbine blade cooling channel. The subject of this thesis work was to search for methods that could improve the characteristics of these two types of flows, thus enabling superior engine performance. The innovative aspect of our work was to apply an endwall shape modification previously employed by non-aerospace industries for cooling applications, to the gas turbine cooling flow which is vital to aerospace propulsion. Since the costs of investigating the possible benefits of any idea via extensive experiments could be quite high, we decided to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) followed by experimentation as our methodology. We decided to analyze the potential benefits of using vortex generators (VGs) as well as the rectangular endwall fence. Since the pin-fins used in cooling flow are circular cylinders, and since the boundary layer flow is mainly characterized by the leading edge diameter of the NGV blade, we modeled both the pin-fins and the NGV blade as vertical circular cylinders. The baseline case consisted of the cylinder(s) being subjected to cross flow and a certain amount of freestream turbulence. The modifications we made on the endwall consisted of rectangular fences. In the case of the cooling flow, we used triangular shaped, common flow up oriented, delta winglet type vortex generators as well as rectangular endwall fences. The channel contained singular cylinders as well as staggered rows of multiple cylinders. For the NGV flow, a rectangular endwall fence and a singular cylinder were utilized. Using extensive CFD modeling and analysis, we

  9. Adolescent Alcohol Abuse and Adverse Adult Outcomes: Evaluating Confounds with Drinking-Discordant Twins

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Richard J.; Winter, Torsten; Viken, Richard J.; Kaprio, Jaakko

    2014-01-01

    Background Adolescent alcohol abuse is associated with adverse outcomes in early adulthood, but differences in familial status and structure and household and community environments correlate with both adolescent drinking and adverse adult outcomes and may explain their association. We studied drinking-discordant twin pairs to evaluate such confounds to ask: Will between-family associations replicate in within-family comparisons? Methods With longitudinal data from > 3,000 Finnish twins, we associated drinking problems at age 18½ with 13 outcomes assessed at age 25; included were sustained substance abuse, poor health, physical symptoms, early coital debut, multiple sexual partners, life dissatisfaction, truncated education, and financial problems. We assessed associations among twins as individuals with linear regression adjusted for correlated observations; within-family analyses of discordant twin pairs followed, comparing paired means for adult outcomes among co-twins discordant for adolescent problem drinking. Defining discordance by extreme scores on self-reported problem drinking at age 18½ permitted parallel analyses of twins as individuals and discordant twin pairs. Alternate definitions of pair-wise discordance and difference score correlations across the entire twin sample yielded supplementary analyses. Results All individual associations were highly significant for all definitions of discordance we employed. Depending on definitions of discordance, 11 to 13 comparisons of all drinking-discordant twin pairs and 3 to 6 comparisons of discordant monozygotic twin pairs replicated between-family associations. For most outcomes, effect size attenuated from individual level analysis to that within discordant MZ twin pairs providing evidence of partial confounding in associations reported in earlier research. The exception was the General Health Questionnaire; at age 25, GHQ-12 had equivalent associations with age 18½ RAPI across all comparisons

  10. Sediment organic matter content as a confounding factor in toxicity tests with Chironomus tentans

    SciTech Connect

    Lacey, R.; Watzin, M.C.; McIntosh, A.W.

    1999-02-01

    Physicochemical characteristics of sediment unrelated to contaminant levels and bioavailability may influence the outcome of toxicity tests. In particular, sediment organic matter content has the potential to be a confounding factor in toxicity tests using the midge larva Chironomus tentans because the larvae are infaunal and feed on organic matter in the sediments. To examine the possibility, the authors conducted a series of tests using formulated sediments with varying organic matter contents following the standard US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 10-day C. tentans growth and survival protocol. Formulated sediments made with peat moss, {alpha}-cellulose, and maple leaves were tested. An organic-rich natural sediment diluted with formulated sediment to achieve a range of organic matter contents was also examined. In a final experiment, sediments containing each of the four organic matter sources at the same concentration were tested against one another. Survival was not greatly affected by concentration of organic matter, except at the lowest concentrations in natural sediment, where survival dipped below 70%. In experiments using peat moss, {alpha}-cellulose, and maple leaves, significant differences in C. tentans growth were found at different organic matter concentrations. In contrast, concentration of organic matter in the natural sediment dilution series had little effect on growth, perhaps because much of this material was highly refractory. In the comparison experiment, growth differed significantly among the four sediments, with best growth achieved with {alpha}-cellulose and leaves. These results suggest that both organic matter quantity and quality can be confounding factors in toxicity tests using C. tentans.

  11. PERMANOVA-S: association test for microbial community composition that accommodates confounders and multiple distances

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Zheng-Zheng; Chen, Guanhua; Alekseyenko, Alexander V.

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Recent advances in sequencing technology have made it possible to obtain high-throughput data on the composition of microbial communities and to study the effects of dysbiosis on the human host. Analysis of pairwise intersample distances quantifies the association between the microbiome diversity and covariates of interest (e.g. environmental factors, clinical outcomes, treatment groups). In the design of these analyses, multiple choices for distance metrics are available. Most distance-based methods, however, use a single distance and are underpowered if the distance is poorly chosen. In addition, distance-based tests cannot flexibly handle confounding variables, which can result in excessive false-positive findings. Results: We derive presence-weighted UniFrac to complement the existing UniFrac distances for more powerful detection of the variation in species richness. We develop PERMANOVA-S, a new distance-based method that tests the association of microbiome composition with any covariates of interest. PERMANOVA-S improves the commonly-used Permutation Multivariate Analysis of Variance (PERMANOVA) test by allowing flexible confounder adjustments and ensembling multiple distances. We conducted extensive simulation studies to evaluate the performance of different distances under various patterns of association. Our simulation studies demonstrate that the power of the test relies on how well the selected distance captures the nature of the association. The PERMANOVA-S unified test combines multiple distances and achieves good power regardless of the patterns of the underlying association. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by reanalyzing several real microbiome datasets. Availability and Implementation: miProfile software is freely available at https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/tang-lab/software/miProfile. Contact: z.tang@vanderbilt.edu or g.chen@vanderbilt.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics

  12. The effects of magnetic field modifications on the solar modulation of cosmic rays with a SDE-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, J. L.; Potgieter, M. S.; Strauss, R. D.; Kopp, A.

    2016-05-01

    A numerical model for the solar modulation of cosmic rays, based on the solution of a set of stochastic differential equations (SDEs), is used to illustrate the effects of modifying the heliospheric magnetic field, particularly in the polar regions of the heliosphere. SDE-based models are well suited for such studies so that new insights are gained. To this end, the differences in the modulation brought about by each of three choices for the heliospheric magnetic field, i.e. the unmodified Parker field, the Smith-Bieber modified field, and the Jokipii-Kóta modified field, are studied as typical well-known cases. It is illustrated that although both these modifications change the Parker field satisfactorily in the polar regions of the heliosphere, the Smith-Bieber modification is more effective in reducing cosmic ray drift effects in these regions. The features of these two modifications, as well as the effects on the solar modulation of cosmic rays, are illustrated qualitatively and quantitatively. In particular, it is shown how the Smith-Bieber modified field is applied in a cosmic ray modulation model to reproduce observational proton spectra from the PAMELA mission during the solar minimum of 2006-2009. These SDE-based results are compared with those obtained in previous studies of this unusual solar minimum activity period and found to be in good qualitative agreement.

  13. The effect of pyridine modification of Ni-DOBDC on CO2 capture under humid conditions.

    PubMed

    Bae, Youn-Sang; Liu, Jian; Wilmer, Christopher E; Sun, Hahnbi; Dickey, Allison N; Kim, Min Bum; Benin, Annabelle I; Willis, Richard R; Barpaga, Dushyant; LeVan, M Douglas; Snurr, Randall Q

    2014-03-28

    The metal-organic framework Ni-DOBDC was modified with pyridine molecules to make the normally hydrophilic internal surface more hydrophobic. Experiments and molecular simulations show that the pyridine modification reduces H2O adsorption while retaining substantial CO2 capacity under the conditions of interest for carbon capture from flue gas. PMID:24527490

  14. Organizational Behavior Change: The Effectiveness of Behavior Modification Techniques with and without Participatory Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweeney, Mary M.; Goldstein, Marc B.

    This study examines a naturally occurring experiment in a large urban hospital faced with budget cuts, in which departments were ordered to reduce employees' overtime without jeopardizing service quality. The study focuses on two departments that chose to use behavior modification techniques. In one department (Radiology) the intervention combined…

  15. Effect of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Fantasies on Behavior Modification Treatment of Obesity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    And Others; Silverman, Lloyd H.

    1978-01-01

    Obese women were treated in behavior modification programs for overeating. Behavior programs were accompanied by subliminal stimulation and by symbiotic and control messages. The symbiotic condition gave evidence of enhancing weight loss. This finding supports the proposition that subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies can enhance the…

  16. Effects of a Behavior Modification Skills Training on Several Personality Factors among Teacher Trainees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Paul N.

    1978-01-01

    A 53-subject treatment group and a 29-subject control group in a teacher trainee course were pretested for dogmatism, pupil control ideology, locus of control, and three factors of the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. The treatment group was then exposed to an extensive classroom behavior modification laboratory. Results were not…

  17. A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Cognitive Bias Modification on Anxiety and Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hallion, Lauren S.; Ruscio, Ayelet Meron

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive biases have been theorized to play a critical role in the onset and maintenance of anxiety and depression. Cognitive bias modification (CBM), an experimental paradigm that uses training to induce maladaptive or adaptive cognitive biases, was developed to test these causal models. Although CBM has generated considerable interest in the…

  18. Photoluminescence of CuInS2 nanocrystals: effect of surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Kuk; Cho, Young-Sang; Chung, Kookchae; Choi, Chul-Jin

    2011-09-01

    We have synthesized highly luminescent Cu-In-S(CIS) nanocrystals (NCs) by heating the mixture of metal carboxylates and alkylthiol under inert atmosphere. We modified the surface of CIS NCs with zinc carboxylate and subsequent injection of alkylthiol. As a result of the surface modification, highly luminescent CIS@ZnS core/shell nanocrystals were synthesized. The luminescence quantum yield (QY) of best CIS@ZnS NCs was above 50%, which is 10 times higher than the initial QY of CIS NCs before surface modification (QY=3%). Detailed study on the luminescence mechanism implies that etching of the surface of NCs by dissociated carboxylate group (CH3COO-) and formation of epitaxial shell by Zn with sulfur from alkylthiol efficiently removed the surface defects which are known to be major non-radiative recombination sites in semiconductor nanocrystals. In this study, we developed a novel surface modification route for monodispersed highly luminescent Cu-In-S NCs with less toxic and highly stable precursors. Investigation with the timeand the temperature-dependent photoluminescence showed that the trap related emission was minimized by surface modification and the donor-acceptor pair recombination was enhanced by controlling copper stoichiometry.xb

  19. Effect of dual modification with hydroxypropylation and cross-linking on physicochemical properties of taro starch.

    PubMed

    Hazarika, Bidyut Jyoti; Sit, Nandan

    2016-04-20

    Dual modification of taro starch by hydroxypropylation and cross-linking was carried out and the properties of the modified starches were investigated. Two different levels of hydroxypropylation (5 and 10%) and cross-linking (0.05 and 0.10%) were used in different sequences. The amylose contents of the starch decreased due to single and dual modification. For the dual-modified starches, the swelling, solubility and clarity was found to increase with level of hydroxypropylation and decrease with level of cross-linking. The freeze-thaw stability of the dual-modified starches was also affected by the sequence of modification. The viscosities of the cross-linked and dual-modified starches were more than native and hydroxypropylated starches. The firmness of the dual-modified starches was also higher than native and single modified starches. The dual-modified starches have benefits of both type of modifications and could be used for specific purposes e.g. food products requiring high viscosity as well as freeze-thaw stability. PMID:26876854

  20. Characterization of organo-modified bentonite sorbents: The effect of modification conditions on adsorption performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parolo, María E.; Pettinari, Gisela R.; Musso, Telma B.; Sánchez-Izquierdo, María P.; Fernández, Laura G.

    2014-11-01

    The organic modification of a natural bentonite was evaluated using two methods: exchanging the interlayer cations by hexadecyltrimethylammonium (HDTMA) and grafting with vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMS) and γ-methacryloyloxy propyl trimethoxysilane (TMSPMA) on montmorillonite surface. The physicochemical characterization of all materials was made by X-ray diffraction (XRD), IR spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area techniques. HDTMA cations and organosilanes were intercalated into the interlayer space of montmorillonite, as deduced from the increase of the basal spacing. IR spectroscopy, TGA and BET area give evidence of successful organic modification. The studies show a decrease in the IR absorption band intensity at 3465 cm-1 with surfactant modification, and also a decrease of mass loss due to adsorbed water observed in two samples: the organoclay and functionalized bentonites, which are evidences of a lower interlayer hydrophilicity. The efficiency of aniline removal onto natural bentonite, organobentonite and functionalized bentonites from aqueous solutions was evaluated. Aniline sorption on natural bentonite was studied using batch experiments, XRD and IR spectroscopy. The hydrophobic surface of organobentonite and functionalized bentonites increased the retention capacity for nonionic organic substances such as aniline on bentonites. The sorption properties of modified bentonite, through different modification methods, enhanced the potential industrial applications of bentonites in water decontamination.

  1. Education Funding in Massachusetts: The Effects of Aid Modifications on Vertical and Horizontal Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fahy, Colleen

    2011-01-01

    Public school funding in Massachusetts is based on foundation budget principles. However, funding formula modifications often create disparities between district foundation budgets and actual required spending levels. This study provides an in-depth look at Massachusetts' state aid formulas used between 2004 and 2009 and utilizes two approaches to…

  2. Maternal Behavior Modifications during Pretense and Their Long-Term Effects on Toddlers' Understanding of Pretense

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamichi, Naoko

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate the need to investigate the sources of toddlers' understanding of another person's pretense. The present study is a cultural and longitudinal extension of the work of Lillard and Witherington (2004), who claimed that mothers modify their behaviors during pretense and that the some of these behavior modifications help their…

  3. Effect of polymer surface modification on polymer-protein interaction via hydrophilic polymer grafting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Surface modification of flat sheet ultrafiltration membranes, polyethersulfone (PES) was investigated to improve the hydrophilicity of the membrane surface thereby reducing adsorption of the proteins onto the membrane. Grafting of hydrophilic polymers onto UV/ozone treated PES was used to improve t...

  4. EVALUATION OF COMBUSTION MODIFICATION EFFECTS ON EMISSIONS AND EFFICIENCY OF WOOD-FIRED INDUSTRIAL BOILERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of full-scale tests to evaluate combustion modifications (lower excess air and variations in the overfire air system operation) for emission control and efficiency enhancement on two wood-fired industrial boilers. Polycyclic organic matter (POM) was sampl...

  5. Proteomic Investigation of Protein Profile Changes and Amino Acid Residue Level Modification in Cooked Lamb Meat: The Effect of Boiling.

    PubMed

    Yu, Tzer-Yang; Morton, James D; Clerens, Stefan; Dyer, Jolon M

    2015-10-21

    Hydrothermal treatment (heating in water) is a common method of general food processing and preparation. For red-meat-based foods, boiling is common; however, how the molecular level effects of this treatment correlate to the overall food properties is not yet well-understood. The effects of differing boiling times on lamb meat and the resultant cooking water were here examined through proteomic evaluation. The longer boiling time was found to result in increased protein aggregation involving particularly proteins such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, as well as truncation in proteins such as in α-actinin-2. Heat-induced protein backbone cleavage was observed adjacent to aspartic acid and asparagine residues. Side-chain modifications of amino acid residues resulting from the heating, including oxidation of phenylalanine and formation of carboxyethyllysine, were characterized in the cooked samples. Actin and myoglobin bands from the cooked meat per se remained visible on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, even after significant cooking time. These proteins were also found to be the major source of observed heat-induced modifications. This study provides new insights into molecular-level modifications occurring in lamb meat proteins during boiling and a protein chemistry basis for better understanding the effect of this common treatment on the nutritional and functional properties of red-meat-based foods. PMID:26381020

  6. Accommodations for English Language Learner Students: The Effect of Linguistic Modification of Math Test Item Sets. Final Report. NCEE 2009-4079

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sato, Edynn; Rabinowitz, Stanley; Gallagher, Carole; Huang, Chun-Wei

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the effect of linguistic modification on middle school students' ability to show what they know and can do on math assessments. REL West's study on middle school math assessment accommodations found that simplifying the language--or linguistic modification--on standardized math test items made it easier for English Language…

  7. The effect of pressure on the post-synthetic modification of a nanoporous metal-organic framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKellar, Scott C.; Graham, Alexander J.; Allan, David R.; Mohideen, M. Infas H.; Morris, Russell E.; Moggach, Stephen A.

    2014-03-01

    Here we report four post-synthetic modifications, including the first ever example of a high pressure-induced post-synthetic modification, of a porous copper-based metal-organic framework. Ligand exchange with a water ligand at the axial metal site occurs with methanol, acetonitrile, methylamine and ethylamine within a single-crystal and without the need to expose a free metal site prior to modification, resulting in significant changes in the pore size, shape and functionality. Pressure experiments carried out using isopropylalcohol and acetaldehyde, however, results in no ligand exchange. By using these solvents as hydrostatic media for high-pressure single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments, we have investigated the effect of ligand exchange on the stability and compressibility of the framework and demonstrate that post-synthetic ligand exchange is very sensitive to both the molecular size and functionality of the exchanged ligand. We also demonstrate the ability to force hydrophilic molecules into hydrophobic pores using high pressures which results in a pressure-induced chemical decomposition of the Cu-framework.Here we report four post-synthetic modifications, including the first ever example of a high pressure-induced post-synthetic modification, of a porous copper-based metal-organic framework. Ligand exchange with a water ligand at the axial metal site occurs with methanol, acetonitrile, methylamine and ethylamine within a single-crystal and without the need to expose a free metal site prior to modification, resulting in significant changes in the pore size, shape and functionality. Pressure experiments carried out using isopropylalcohol and acetaldehyde, however, results in no ligand exchange. By using these solvents as hydrostatic media for high-pressure single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments, we have investigated the effect of ligand exchange on the stability and compressibility of the framework and demonstrate that post-synthetic ligand

  8. Effects of arsenic on modification of promyelocytic leukemia (PML): PML responds to low levels of arsenite

    SciTech Connect

    Hirano, Seishiro; Watanabe, Takayuki; Kobayashi, Yayoi

    2013-12-15

    Inorganic arsenite (iAs{sup 3+}) is a two-edged sword. iAs{sup 3+} is a well-known human carcinogen; nevertheless, it has been used as a therapeutic drug for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which is caused by a fusion protein comprising retinoic acid receptor-α and promyelocytic leukemia (PML). PML, a nuclear transcription factor, has a RING finger domain with densely positioned cysteine residues. To examine PML-modulated cellular responses to iAs{sup 3+}, CHO-K1 and HEK293 cells were each used to establish cell lines that expressed ectopic human PML. Overexpression of PML increased susceptibility to iAs{sup 3+} in CHO-K1 cells, but not in HEK293 cells. Exposure of PML-transfected cells to iAs{sup 3+} caused PML to change from a soluble form to less soluble forms, and this modification of PML was observable even with just 0.1 μM iAs{sup 3+} (7.5 ppb). Western blot and immunofluorescent microscopic analyses revealed that the biochemical changes of PML were caused at least in part by conjugation with small ubiquitin-like modifier proteins (SUMOylation). A luciferase reporter gene was used to investigate whether modification of PML was caused by oxidative stress or activation of antioxidant response element (ARE) in CHO-K1 cells. Modification of PML protein occurred faster than activation of the ARE in response to iAs{sup 3+}, suggesting that PML was not modified as a consequence of oxidative stress-induced ARE activation. - Highlights: • PML was found in nuclear microspecles in response to arsenite. • Arsenite triggers SUMOylation of PML. • Arsenite modifies PML at as low as 0.1 μM. • Modification of PML is not caused by ARE activation.

  9. Studies on Hdpe-Coconut Flour Composites: Effect of Coupling Agents and Surface Modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albano, C.; González, J.; Hernández, M.; Ichazo, M. N.; Alvarado, Sinai; Ziegler, Dulce Maria

    2008-08-01

    This study investigates the mechanical, thermal and morphological behavior of coconut flour/polyethylene composites, with special interest on the influence of the surface modification of coconut flour and the presence of different coupling agents on the interfacial bonding. The different treatments of the composites with an EAA copolymer, with titanate, with 5 and 18 wt% of NaOH and acetylating, confirm the better tensile behavior of these composites.

  10. The investigation of man-made modifications of the ionosphere. [effects of detonations and rocket exhaust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernhardt, P. A.; Darosa, A. V.; Price, K. M.

    1980-01-01

    Topics covered include: (1) the application of ionosphere modifications models to the simulation of results obtained when rocket-borne explosives were detonated in the ionosphere; (2) the problem of hypersonic vapor releases from orbiting vehicles; (3) measuring the electron content reduction resulting from the firing of a Centaur rocket in the ionosphere; and (4) the preliminary design of the critical frequency tracker which displays the value of electron concentration at the peak of the F 2 region, in real time.

  11. Effects of low-level laser therapy on M1-related cytokine expression in monocytes via histone modification.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chia-Hsin; Wang, Chau-Zen; Wang, Yan-Hsiung; Liao, Wei-Ting; Chen, Yi-Jen; Kuo, Chang-Hung; Kuo, Hsuan-Fu; Hung, Chih-Hsing

    2014-01-01

    Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used in the treatment of radiotherapy-induced oral mucositis and allergic rhinitis. However, the effects of LLLT on human monocyte polarization into M1 macrophages are unknown. To evaluate the effects of LLLT on M1-related cytokine and chemokine production and elucidate the mechanism, the human monocyte cell line THP-1 was treated with different doses of LLLT. The expression of M1-related cytokines and chemokines (CCL2, CXCL10, and TNF-α) was determined by ELISA and real-time PCR. LLLT-associated histone modifications were examined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Mitochondrial involvement in the LLLT-induced M1-related cytokine expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Flow cytometry was used to detect the cell surface markers for monocyte polarization. The results showed that LLLT (660 nm) significantly enhanced M1-related cytokine and chemokine expression in mRNA and protein levels. Mitochondrial copy number and mRNA levels of complex I-V protein were increased by LLLT (1 J/cm(2)). Activation of M1 polarization was concomitant with histone modification at TNF-α gene locus and IP-10 gene promoter area. This study indicates that LLLT (660 nm) enhanced M1-related cytokine and chemokine expression via mitochondrial biogenesis and histone modification, which may be a potent immune-enhancing agent for the treatment of allergic diseases. PMID:24692853

  12. The effects of magnetic field modifications on the solar modulation of cosmic rays with a SDE-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, Jan-Louis; Toit Strauss, Du; Kopp, Andreas; Potgieter, Marius

    2016-07-01

    The effects of modifying the heliospheric magnetic field, particularly in the polar regions of the heliosphere, are illustrated by utilizing a numerical model based on the solution of a set of stochastic differential equations (SDEs). Because SDE-based models are especially well suited for such studies, we are able to gain new insights into this subject. The differences in the modulation brought about by each of three choices for the heliospheric magnetic field are studied as typical well-known cases; they are the unmodified Parker field, and the Smith-Bieber and Jokipii-Kóta modified fields. It is illustrated that both these modifications change the Parker field satisfactorily in the heliospheric polar regions, but that the modification of Smith and Bieber affects a larger reduction in cosmic ray drift effects in these regions. The general features of these two modifications are illustrated and the Smith-Bieber modified field is applied in a cosmic ray modulation model to reproduce observational proton spectra from the PAMELA mission during the solar minimum of 2006 - 2009. These SDE-based results are compared to the results from other studies and found to be in good qualitative agreement.

  13. N-terminal modifications of cellular proteins: The enzymes involved, their substrate specificities and biological effects

    PubMed Central

    Varland, Sylvia; Osberg, Camilla; Arnesen, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of eukaryotic proteins are N-terminally modified by one or more processing enzymes. Enzymes acting on the very first amino acid of a polypeptide include different peptidases, transferases, and ligases. Methionine aminopeptidases excise the initiator methionine leaving the nascent polypeptide with a newly exposed amino acid that may be further modified. N-terminal acetyl-, methyl-, myristoyl-, and palmitoyltransferases may attach an acetyl, methyl, myristoyl, or palmitoyl group, respectively, to the α-amino group of the target protein N-terminus. With the action of ubiquitin ligases, one or several ubiquitin molecules are transferred, and hence, constitute the N-terminal modification. Modifications at protein N-termini represent an important contribution to proteomic diversity and complexity, and are essential for protein regulation and cellular signaling. Consequently, dysregulation of the N-terminal modifying enzymes is implicated in human diseases. We here review the different protein N-terminal modifications occurring co- or post-translationally with emphasis on the responsible enzymes and their substrate specificities. PMID:25914051

  14. Effect of Hybrid Surface Modifications on Tensile Properties of Polyacrylonitrile- and Pitch-Based Carbon Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naito, Kimiyoshi

    2016-05-01

    Recent interest has emerged in techniques that modify the surfaces of carbon fibers, such as carbon nanotube (CNT) grafting or polymer coating. Hybridization of these surface modifications has the potential to generate highly tunable, high-performance materials. In this study, the mechanical properties of surface-modified polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based and pitch-based carbon fibers were investigated. Single-filament tensile tests were performed for fibers modified by CNT grafting, dipped polyimide coating, high-temperature vapor deposition polymerized polyimide coating, grafting-dipping hybridization, and grafting-vapor deposition hybridization. The Weibull statistical distributions of the tensile strengths of the surface-modified PAN- and pitch-based carbon fibers were examined. All surface modifications, especially hybrid modifications, improved the tensile strengths and Weibull moduli of the carbon fibers. The results exhibited a linear relationship between the Weibull modulus and average tensile strength on a log-log scale for all surface-modified PAN- and pitch-based carbon fibers.

  15. Comprehensive Analysis of Maillard Protein Modifications in Human Lenses: Effect of Age and Cataract

    PubMed Central

    Smuda, Mareen; Henning, Christian; Raghavan, Cibin T.; Johar, Kaid; Vasavada, Abhay R.; Nagaraj, Ram H.; Glomb, Marcus A.

    2015-01-01

    In human lens proteins, advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) originate from the reaction of glycating agents, e.g., vitamin C and glucose. AGEs have been considered to play a significant role in lens aging and cataract formation. Although several AGEs have been detected in the human lens, the contribution of individual glycating agents to their formation remains unclear. A highly sensitive liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry multimethod was developed that allowed us to quantitate 21 protein modifications in normal and cataractous lenses, respectively. N6-Carboxymethyl lysine, N6-carboxyethyl lysine, N7-carboxyethyl arginine, methylglyoxal hydroimidazolone 1, and N6-lactoyl lysine were found to be the major Maillard protein modifications among these AGEs. The novel vitamin C specific amide AGEs, N6-xylonyl and N6-lyxonyl lysine, but also AGEs from glyoxal were detected, albeit in minor quantities. Among the 21 modifications, AGEs from the Amadori product (derived from the reaction of glucose and lysine) and methylglyoxal were dominant. PMID:25849437

  16. Effects of channel modification on fish habitat in the upper Yellowstone River: Final report to the USACE, Omaha

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Bovee, Ken D.; Waddle, Terry J.

    2003-01-01

    A two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation model was coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) to produce a variety of habitat classification maps for three study reaches in the upper Yellowstone River basin in Montana. Data from these maps were used to examine potential effects of channel modification on shallow, slow current velocity (SSCV) habitats that are important refugia and nursery areas for young salmonids. At low flows, channel modifications were found to contribute additional SSCV habitat, but this contribution was negligible at higher discharges. During runoff, when young salmonids are most vulnerable to downstream displacement, the largest areas of SSCV habitat occurred in side channels, point bars, and overbank areas. Because of the diversity of elevations in the existing Yellowstone River, SSCV habitat tends to be available over a wide range of discharges. Based on simulations in modified and unmodified sub-reaches, channel simplification results in decreased availability of SSCV habitat, particularly during runoff. The combined results of the fish population and fish habitat studies present strong evidence that during runoff, SSCV habitat is most abundant in side channel and overbank areas and that juvenile salmonids use these habitats as refugia. Channel modifications that result in reduced availability of side channel and overbank habitats, particularly during runoff, will probably cause local reductions in juvenile abundances during the runoff period. Effects of reduced juvenile abundances during runoff on adult numbers later in the year will depend on (1) the extent of channel modification, (2) patterns of fish displacement and movement, (3) longitudinal connectivity between reaches that contain refugia and those that do not, and (4) the relative importance of other limiting factors.

  17. Lifestyle modifications for GDM.

    PubMed

    Dhingra, Atul; Ahuja, Kamlesh

    2016-09-01

    Prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide more so in Southeast Asian countries like India and Pakistan. 1 GDM is associated with various adverse foetal and maternal effects. The management of GDM aims at reducing blood glucose to reduce maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. Various studies have shown that lifestyle modifications are an important tool for reducing blood glucose levels in patients with GDM. Lifestyle modifications consist of dietary modifications and daily physical activity. Dietary modifications aim to achieve glycaemic control by providing adequate calories to the mother and foetus. Exercise is an obvious adjunct to dietary modifications for management of GDM. Therefore the purpose of this review is to summarize the benefits of lifestyle interventions in patients with GDM. PMID:27582149

  18. Counterfactual Graphical Models for Longitudinal Mediation Analysis with Unobserved Confounding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shpitser, Ilya

    2013-01-01

    Questions concerning mediated causal effects are of great interest in psychology, cognitive science, medicine, social science, public health, and many other disciplines. For instance, about 60% of recent papers published in leading journals in social psychology contain at least one mediation test (Rucker, Preacher, Tormala, & Petty, 2011).…

  19. Platelets confound the measurement of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Adam J; Gray, Warren D; Hayek, Salim S; Ko, Yi-An; Thomas, Sheena; Rooney, Kim; Awad, Mosaab; Roback, John D; Quyyumi, Arshed; Searles, Charles D

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular miRNAs are detectable in biofluids and represent a novel class of disease biomarker. Although many studies have utilized archived plasma for miRNA biomarker discovery, the effects of processing and storage have not been rigorously studied. Previous reports have suggested plasma samples are commonly contaminated by platelets, significantly confounding the measurement of extracellular miRNA, which was thought to be easily addressed by additional post-thaw plasma processing. In a case-control study of archived plasma, we noted a significant correlation between miRNA levels and platelet counts despite post-thaw processing. We thus examined the effects of a single freeze/thaw cycle on microparticles (MPs) and miRNA levels, and show that a single freeze/thaw cycle of plasma dramatically increases the number of platelet-derived MPs, contaminates the extracellular miRNA pool, and profoundly affects the levels of miRNAs detected. The measurement of extracellular miRNAs in archived samples is critically dependent on the removal of residual platelets prior to freezing plasma samples. Many previous clinical studies of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma should be interpreted with caution and future studies should avoid the effects of platelet contamination. PMID:27623086

  20. Applying propensity scores estimated in a full cohort to adjust for confounding in subgroup analyses

    PubMed Central

    Rassen, Jeremy A.; Glynn, Robert J.; Rothman, Kenneth J.; Setoguchi, Soko; Schneeweiss, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    A correctly-specified propensity score (PS) estimated in a cohort (“cohort PS”) should in expectation remain valid in a subgroup population. We sought to determine whether using a cohort PS can be validly applied to subgroup analyses and thus add efficiency to studies with many subgroups or restricted data. In each of 3 cohort studies we estimated a cohort PS, defined 5 subgroups, and then estimated subgroup-specific PSs. We compared difference in treatment effect estimates for subgroup analyses adjusted by cohort PSs versus subgroup-specific PSs. Then, 10M times, we simulated a population with known characteristics of confounding, subgroup size, treatment interactions, and treatment effect, and again assessed difference in point estimates. We observed that point estimates in most subgroups were substantially similar with the two methods of adjustment. In simulations, the effect estimates differed by a median of 3.4% (interquartile [IQ] range 1.3% to 10.0%). The IQ range exceeded 10% only in cases where the subgroup had <1000 patients or few outcome events. Our empirical and simulation results indicated that using a cohort PS in subgroup analyses was a feasible approach, particularly in larger subgroups. PMID:22162077

  1. Home Modification

    MedlinePlus

    ... it is important to consider certain safety modifications. Adaptations such as those in the following list can ... The importance of a Consumer Perspective in Home Adaptation of Alzheimer’s Households” (Chapter 6 pp 91-112) ...

  2. Familial Confounding of the Association between Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and ADHD in Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Skoglund, Charlotte; Chen, Qi; D´Onofrio, Brian M; Lichtenstein, Paul; Larsson, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Background Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy (SDP) has consistently been associated with increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring, but recent studies indicate that this association might be due to unmeasured familial confounding. Methods A total of 813 030 individuals born in Sweden between 1992 and 2000 were included in this nationwide population based cohort study. Data on maternal SDP and ADHD diagnosis were obtained from national registers and patients were followed up from the age of 3 to the end of 2009. Hazard Ratios (HRs) were estimated using stratified Cox regression models. Cousin and sibling data were used to control for unmeasured familial confounding. Results At the population level maternal SDP predicted ADHD in offspring (HRModerateSDP=1.89; HRHighSDP=2.50). This estimate gradually attenuated towards the null when adjusting for measured confounders (HRModerateSDP=1.62; HRHighSDP=2.04), unmeasured confounders shared within the extended family (i.e., cousin comparison) (HRModerateSDP= 1.45; HRHighSDP=1.69), and unmeasured confounders within the nuclear family (i.e., sibling comparison) (HRModerateSDP=0.88; HRHighSDP=0.84). Conclusions Our results suggest that the association between maternal SDP and offspring ADHD are due to unmeasured familial confounding. PMID:25359172

  3. Ubiquitin modifications

    PubMed Central

    Swatek, Kirby N; Komander, David

    2016-01-01

    Protein ubiquitination is a dynamic multifaceted post-translational modification involved in nearly all aspects of eukaryotic biology. Once attached to a substrate, the 76-amino acid protein ubiquitin is subjected to further modifications, creating a multitude of distinct signals with distinct cellular outcomes, referred to as the 'ubiquitin code'. Ubiquitin can be ubiquitinated on seven lysine (Lys) residues or on the N-terminus, leading to polyubiquitin chains that can encompass complex topologies. Alternatively or in addition, ubiquitin Lys residues can be modified by ubiquitin-like molecules (such as SUMO or NEDD8). Finally, ubiquitin can also be acetylated on Lys, or phosphorylated on Ser, Thr or Tyr residues, and each modification has the potential to dramatically alter the signaling outcome. While the number of distinctly modified ubiquitin species in cells is mind-boggling, much progress has been made to characterize the roles of distinct ubiquitin modifications, and many enzymes and receptors have been identified that create, recognize or remove these ubiquitin modifications. We here provide an overview of the various ubiquitin modifications present in cells, and highlight recent progress on ubiquitin chain biology. We then discuss the recent findings in the field of ubiquitin acetylation and phosphorylation, with a focus on Ser65-phosphorylation and its role in mitophagy and Parkin activation. PMID:27012465

  4. Effects of chemical modification on the potency, serum stability, and immunostimulatory properties of short shRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Qing; Dallas, Anne; Ilves, Heini; Shorenstein, Joshua; Behlke, Mark A.; Johnston, Brian H.

    2010-01-01

    Small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) with 19-base-pair, or shorter, stems (short shRNAs [sshRNAs]) have been found to constitute a class whose mechanism of action appears to be distinct from that of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or longer shRNAs. These sshRNAs can be as active as canonical siRNAs or longer shRNAs. Their activity is affected by whether the antisense strand is positioned 5′ or 3′ to the loop (L or R sshRNAs, respectively). Dicer seems not to be involved in the processing of sshRNAs, although the mechanism of target gene suppression by these hairpins is through Ago2-mediated mRNA cleavage. In this study, the effects of chemical modifications on the potency, serum stability, and innate immune response of sshRNAs were investigated. Deoxynucleotide substitution and 2′-O-methyl (2′-OMe) modification in the sense strand and loop did not affect silencing activity, but, unlike with siRNAs, when placed in the antisense strand these modifications were detrimental. Conjugation with bulky groups at the 5′-end of L sshRNAs or 3′-end of R sshRNAs had a negative impact on the potency. Unmodified sshRNAs in dimer form or with blunt ends were immunostimulatory. Some modifications such as 3′-end conjugation and phosphorothioate linkages on the backbone of the sshRNAs could also induce inflammatory cytokine production. However, 2′-OMe substitution of sshRNAs abrogated the innate immune response and improved the serum stability of the hairpins. PMID:19948766

  5. Effect of PVA concentration on bond modifications in PVA-PMMA blend films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, J.; Tripathi, S.; Sharma, A.; Bisen, R.; Shripathi, T.

    2016-05-01

    The optical properties of poly (methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) polymer are found to be modified when PVA molecules are added in the matrix of PMMA and vice versa making a blend. The concentrations studied were kept low to preserve the original properties of the host. It was seen that PMMA well protects its bonds and dominated the optical properties, while the properties of PVA are comparatively easier to modify when small amount of PMMA is inserted in PVA matrix. The results are interpreted in terms of bond modifications as seen from FTIR and absorption measurements and are useful in understanding the transparency and bandgap of the blend films.

  6. Chloroform-induced insanity defence confounds lawyer Lincoln.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, A D; Suskind, P B

    1997-12-01

    During an 1857 trial, the defence claimed that the accused should be absolved of wilful murder because an overdose of chloroform during surgery induced insanity. In a rare appearance as a prosecutor, Abraham Lincoln tried the case for the State of Illinois. Expert medical witnesses testified about the side effects of chloroform and chloroform-induced insanity. Significantly, Lincoln was not knowledgeable about medical jurisprudence and overlooked potential sources of evidence and expert witnesses. Defence lawyers presented an impressive array of physicians to testify about insanity, about chloroform and about the results of an overdosage during anaesthesia. Considering the state of scientific knowledge at the time, the trial was notable. PMID:11619819

  7. Confounders in interpreting pathology for safety and risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wolf, Douglas C. . E-mail: wolf.doug@epa.gov; Mann, Peter C.

    2005-02-01

    The contribution of pathology to toxicity assessment is invaluable but often not clearly understood. Pathology endpoints are the central response around which human health risk assessment is frequently determined; therefore, it is important that the general toxicology community understand current concepts and nomenclature of toxicologic pathology. Toxicologic pathology encompasses the study of changes in tissue morphology that help define the risk of exposure to xenobiotics. Toxicologic pathology is a discipline that has changed and adapted over time including methods of analysis and nomenclature of lesions. As risk assessments are updated for chemicals in commerce, frequently the older literature must be reviewed and reevaluated. When interpreting pathology data from animal studies, it is important to consider the biological significance of a lesion as well as its relationship to the ultimate adverse health effect. Assessing the potential for a chemical to cause harm to humans must include the examination of the entire pathology database in context of the study design, the mode of action of the chemical of concern, and using the most current interpretation of a lesion to determine the significance for human health effects of a particular tissue response.

  8. Transformational trends confounding the South Asian health systems.

    PubMed

    Bonu, Sekhar; Gutierrez, Leah C; Borghis, Alain; Roche, Frederick C

    2009-05-01

    Already overwhelmed by the burden of communicable diseases, the health systems in South Asia face six global and regional transformational trends, which pose opportunities, challenges and threats. These six trends discussed in the paper are: (i) economic growth and globalization; (ii) technological changes; (iii) labor market changes; (iv) private sector growth; (v) demographic changes; and (vi) epidemiological changes. These trends have created dual challenges for the health systems in South Asia: (i) to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relating to child and maternal health, and communicable diseases and (ii) to deal with the emerging challenges posed by the six transformational trends. The paper suggests and proposes the use of the transformational trends framework to investigate the various opportunities and challenges, and to design effective policy responses. The capacities and resources of the governments in the region are already stretched by legacy challenges posed by communicable diseases. Hence, effective responses to new challenges will need flexible and innovative approaches including partnership with private sector, civil society, and regional cooperation. The opportunities from the trends are more likely to benefit the richer sections of the society. Therefore, pro-poor measures are necessary to ensure inclusive development. PMID:19038473

  9. Global climate change is confounding species conservation strategies.

    PubMed

    Koopowitz, Harold; Hawkins, Bradford A

    2012-06-01

    Most organisms face similar problems with respect to their conservation in the face of global climate change. Here, we examine probable effects of climate change on the hyperdiverse plant family Orchidaceae. In the 20th century, the major concerns for orchid conservation revolved around unsustainable harvest for the orchid trade and, more importantly, land conversion from natural ecosystems to those unable to support wild orchid populations. Land conversion included logging, fire regimes and forest conversions to agricultural systems. Although those forms of degradation continue, an additional suite of threats has emerged, fueled by global climate change. Global climate change involves more than responses of orchid populations to increases in ambient temperature. Increasing temperature induces secondary effects that can be more significant than simple changes in temperature. Among these new threats are extended and prolonged fire seasons, rising sea levels, increases in cyclonic storms, seasonal climate shifts, changes in orthographic wind dew point and increased drought. The long-term outlook for orchid biodiversity in the wild is dismal, as it is for many animal groups, and we need to start rethinking strategies for conservation in a rapidly changing world. PMID:22691199

  10. Spatial analysis of the air pollution-mortality relationship in the context of ecologic confounders.

    PubMed

    Jerrett, Michael; Burnett, Richard T; Willis, Alette; Krewski, Daniel; Goldberg, Mark S; DeLuca, Patrick; Finkelstein, Norm

    Lack of control for confounding by ecological covariates that may relate to sulfate air pollution and mortality was a key criticism of the two studies that were the focus of the Particle Reanalysis Project. To assess the validity of this criticism, we address the question: "Does sulfate air pollution exert health effects when the impact of other individual and ecologic variables thought to influence health is taken into account?" A related question arises from the possibility of autocorrelation in the mortality risks and ecologic covariates. Failure to control for autocorrelation can lead to false positive significance tests and may indicate bias resulting from a missing variable or group of variables. We control for more than 25 individual risk factors and for 20 ecologic variables representing environmental, socioeconomic, demographic, health- care, and lifestyle determinants of health in a two-stage multilevel analysis. Four modeling strategies are used to control for spatial autocorrelation. Of the 20 ecologic variables tested, only sulfate and sulfur dioxide are significant in models that incorporate spatial autocorrelation. Accounting for autocorrelation also reduces the size and certainty of the sulfate effect on mortality when compared to results generated from Cox models where independent observations are assumed. Confidence limits for the sulfate relative risk include unity in models that simultaneously control for sulfur dioxide and autocorrelation. PMID:12959842

  11. Detection rates of geckos in visual surveys: Turning confounding variables into useful knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lardner, Bjorn; Rodda, Gordon H.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Savidge, Julie A.; Reed, Robert N.

    2016-01-01

    Transect surveys without some means of estimating detection probabilities generate population size indices prone to bias because survey conditions differ in time and space. Knowing what causes such bias can help guide the collection of relevant survey covariates, correct the survey data, anticipate situations where bias might be unacceptably large, and elucidate the ecology of target species. We used negative binomial regression to evaluate confounding variables for gecko (primarily Hemidactylus frenatus and Lepidodactylus lugubris) counts on 220-m-long transects surveyed at night, primarily for snakes, on 9,475 occasions. Searchers differed in gecko detection rates by up to a factor of six. The worst and best headlamps differed by a factor of at least two. Strong winds had a negative effect potentially as large as those of searchers or headlamps. More geckos were seen during wet weather conditions, but the effect size was small. Compared with a detection nadir during waxing gibbous (nearly full) moons above the horizon, we saw 28% more geckos during waning crescent moons below the horizon. A sine function suggested that we saw 24% more geckos at the end of the wet season than at the end of the dry season. Fluctuations on a longer timescale also were verified. Disturbingly, corrected data exhibited strong short-term fluctuations that covariates apparently failed to capture. Although some biases can be addressed with measured covariates, others will be difficult to eliminate as a significant source of error in longterm monitoring programs.

  12. The Scalp Confounds Near-Infrared Signal from Rat Brain Following Innocuous and Noxious Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    He, Ji-Wei; Liu, Hanli; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2015-01-01

    Functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRI) is a non-invasive, low-cost and highly portable technique for assessing brain activity and functions. Both clinical and experimental evidence suggest that fNIRI is able to assess brain activity at associated regions during pain processing, indicating a strong possibility of using fNIRI-derived brain activity pattern as a biomarker for pain. However, it remains unclear how, especially in small animals, the scalp influences fNIRI signal in pain processing. Previously, we have shown that the use of a multi-channel system improves the spatial resolution of fNIRI in rats (without the scalp) during pain processing. Our current work is to investigate a scalp effect by comparing with new data from rats with the scalp during innocuous or noxious stimulation (n = 6). Results showed remarkable stimulus-dependent differences between the no-scalp and intact-scalp groups. In conclusion, the scalp confounded the fNIRI signal in pain processing likely via an autonomic mechanism; the scalp effect should be a critical factor in image reconstruction and data interpretation. PMID:26426058

  13. Effects of surficial modification processes on thermal infrared signatures in the arid southwestern United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, Catherine M.; Farr, Tom G.

    1992-01-01

    Thermal infrared spectra from both laboratory and remote sensing instruments were used to distinguish different age lava flows with varying amounts of surficial modification at Cima and Lunar Crater volcanic fields. The modification processes affecting the lava flows cause spectral differences that can be seen in remotely sensed emittance spectra from the thermal infrared multispectral scanner. Important influences on the thermal infrared spectra include aeolian mantling, vegetation, lave flow roughness, and rock varnish. Laboratory thermal infrared reflectance spectra of the subaerially exposed surfaces of 1-15 cm basalt fragments at Cima volcanic field show a feature attributable to rock varnish on the younger flows (0.14-0.75 m.y.) that is lacking on the older flows (greater than 0.8 m.y.). This suggests that rock varnish is thinner on the older flows at Cima volcanic field. Scanning electron microscope images and thin sections of the different age flows at Cima volcanic field support the conclusion that rock varnish is thinner and may be eroding on the older flow surfaces.

  14. Electrochemical effect of lithium tungsten oxide modification on LiCoO2 thin film electrode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Okada, Jiro; Toda, Eiji; Kuzuo, Ryuichi; Matsuda, Yasutaka; Kuwata, Naoaki; Kawamura, Junichi

    2015-07-01

    We fabricated a lithium tungsten oxide (LWO)-modified LiCoO2 (LCO) thin film electrode by pulsed laser deposition and investigated the reason for its lower resistance as compared with a bare LCO electrode. X-ray diffraction revealed that the LWO layer has a randomly oriented Li2WO4 structure with tetragonal symmetry. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) indicated that the LWO modification changes the LCO particle surface, and the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy demonstrated that the LWO modification on LCO decreases the lithium ion transfer resistance at the interface between the positive electrode and the liquid electrolyte and increases the frequency factor at the interface. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, EDX, and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) indicated the presence of phosphate on the surface of the unmodified LCO electrode after electrochemical tests, but EDX and EELS did not indicate the presence of phosphate in the LWO-modified LCO electrode. The absence of phosphates apparently alleviates the hindrance of Li+ ion diffusion and increases the frequency factor in LCO, resulting in lowered Li+ ion transfer resistance at the interface.

  15. Chemical modification produces species-specific changes in cucurbitacin antifeedant effect.

    PubMed

    Lang, Karen Luise; Deagosto, Emilio; Zimmermann, Lara Almida; Machado, Vanessa Rocha; Campos Bernardes, Lílian Sibelle; Schenkel, Eloir Paulo; Duran, Fernando Javier; Palermo, Jorge; Rossini, Carmen

    2013-06-12

    Cucurbitacins are secondary metabolites that mediate insect plant interactions not only as allomones against generalists but also as kairomones for specialist herbivores. This study was undertaken to identify the potential of cucurbitacin derivatives as insect antifeedant agents. The antifeedant capacity against a Cucurbitaceae specialist [ Epilachna paenulata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)] and a polyphagous insect [ Pseudaletia adultera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)] was evaluated in preference tests in which the insects were given a choice between food plants either treated with the cucurbitacin derivatives or treated with the solvent. The activity was found not to be related to the basic cucurbitacin skeleton, as only 15 of the 28 tested cucurbitacin derivatives were active. Only one of the tested compounds was phagostimulant to the specialist insect (the hemissuccinate of 16-oxo-dihydrocucurbitacin B derivative), while all other active derivatives were deterrent against one of the insects (13 compounds) or both of them (3 compounds). Changes in ring A of the cucurbitacins, as well as in the side chain, modified the activity. As a general trend, when chemical modifications of the basic structure produced a change in activity, the response was opposite in both insects used as biodetectors, indicating that a selective variation in the activity may be achieved by chemical modifications of the cucurbitacin skeleton. PMID:23646892

  16. Synthesis and effect of modification on methacylate - acrylate microspheres for Trametes versicolor laccase enzyme immobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazlan, Siti Zulaikha; Hanifah, Sharina Abu

    2014-09-01

    Immobilization of laccase on the modified copolymer methacrylate-acrylate microspheres was studied. A poly (glycidyl methacrylate-co-n-butyl acrylate) microsphere consists of epoxy groups were synthesized using suspension photocuring technique. The epoxy group in poly (GMA-nBA) microspheres were converted into amino groups with aldehyde group. Laccase immobilization is based on having the amino groups on the enzyme surface and aldehyde group on the microspheres via covalent binding. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis proved the successful surface modification on microspheres. The FTIR spectrum shows the characteristic peaks at 1646 cm-1 assigned to the conformation of the polymerization that took place between monomer GMA and nBA respectively. In addition, after modification, FTIR peaks that assigned to the epoxy ring (844 cm-1 and 904 cm-1) were decreased. The results obtained from FTIR method signify good agreement with the epoxy content method. Hence, the activity of the laccase-immobilized microspheres increased upon increasing the epoxy content. Furthermore, poly (GMA-nBA) exhibited uniform microspheres with below 2 μm surface. Immobilized enzyme showed a broader pH profile and higher temperature compared native enzyme.

  17. Mini-Society vs. Token Economy: An Experimental Comparison of the Effects on Learning and Autonomy of Socially Emergent and Imposed Behavior Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kourilsky, Marilyn; Hirshleifer, Jack

    1976-01-01

    This study compares the effects of two teacher training programs designed to emphasize one of two forms of behavior modification in teaching economics to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade pupils. (DMT)

  18. Dust Long-Range Transport and the Dust-Radiation Effects on the Modification of the SAL Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, S.; Wang, S.; Waylonis, M.; Sc

    2010-12-01

    A tracer model based on the Weather Research and Forecast model was developed to simulate dust long-range transport for a dust outbreak event that occurred during July 18-20, 2005. Two numerical experiments were conducted with (ON) and without (OFF) the dust-radiation effects. Simulations were compared with the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) and results were very reasonable. The influence of dust-radiation effects on the modification of Saharan Air Layer (SAL), which can have a substantial influence on Tropical Cyclone (TC) activities over the eastern Atlantic Ocean, was also investigated. Suspended dust was able to reduce the net downward shortwave radiation by more than 300 W m-2 on the surface. The modification of temperature profiles due to dust-radiation effects resulted in the adjustment of the vertical shear. The dust-radiation effects also modified the dust distribution, which can have a feedback to the heating profile and the vertical shear.

  19. Confounded winter and spring phenoclimatology on large herbivore ranges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christianson, David; Klaver, Robert W.; Middleton, Arthur; Kauffman, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Annual variation in winter severity and growing season vegetation dynamics appear to influence the demography of temperate herbivores but parsing winter from spring effects requires independent metrics of environmental conditions specific to each season. We tested for independence in annual variation amongst four common metrics used to describe winter severity and early growing season vegetation dynamics across the entire spatial distribution of elk (Cervus elaphus) in Wyoming from 1989 to 2006. Winter conditions and early growing season dynamics were correlated in a specific way. Winters with snow cover that ended early tended to be followed by early, but slow, rises in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), while long winters with extended periods of snow cover were often followed by late and rapid rises in NDVI. Across the 35 elk ranges, 0.4–86.8 % of the variation in the rate of increase in NDVI’s in spring was explained by the date snow cover disappeared from SNOTEL stations. Because phenoclimatological metrics are correlated across seasons and shifting due to climate change, identifying environmental constraints on herbivore fitness, particularly migratory species, is more difficult than previously recognized.

  20. Vitamin D in Fibromyalgia: A Causative or Confounding Biological Interplay?

    PubMed

    Karras, Spyridon; Rapti, Eleni; Matsoukas, Stauros; Kotsa, Kalliopi

    2016-01-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome with an increasing prevalence, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain in combination with a variety of cognitive symptoms and fatigue. A plethora of scientific evidence that has accumulated during the last decades, resulted in a significant improvement of the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. However, current therapeutic approaches in patients with FM remains a multidimensional approach including patient education, behavioral therapy, exercise, pain management, and relief of chronic symptoms, rather than the use drug therapies, based on the mechanisms of disease development. Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin derived mainly from skin synthesis through ultraviolet radiation, has been recognized to manifest a plethora of extraskeletal actions, apart from its fundamental role in skeletal and calcium homeostasis, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular actions, and potential anti-inflammatory properties. Recent findings indicate that hypovitaminosis D to be highly prevalent in patients with FM. Supplementation studies are limited so far, indicating potential beneficial effects on pain and severity of the disease, however specific recommendations are lacking. This review aims to summarize and critically appraise data regarding the pathophysiological interplay between vitamin D and FM, available results from observational and supplementation studies so far, with a clinical discourse on current knowledge gaps and future research agenda. PMID:27271665

  1. Statistically Controlling for Confounding Constructs Is Harder than You Think

    PubMed Central

    Westfall, Jacob; Yarkoni, Tal

    2016-01-01

    Social scientists often seek to demonstrate that a construct has incremental validity over and above other related constructs. However, these claims are typically supported by measurement-level models that fail to consider the effects of measurement (un)reliability. We use intuitive examples, Monte Carlo simulations, and a novel analytical framework to demonstrate that common strategies for establishing incremental construct validity using multiple regression analysis exhibit extremely high Type I error rates under parameter regimes common in many psychological domains. Counterintuitively, we find that error rates are highest—in some cases approaching 100%—when sample sizes are large and reliability is moderate. Our findings suggest that a potentially large proportion of incremental validity claims made in the literature are spurious. We present a web application (http://jakewestfall.org/ivy/) that readers can use to explore the statistical properties of these and other incremental validity arguments. We conclude by reviewing SEM-based statistical approaches that appropriately control the Type I error rate when attempting to establish incremental validity. PMID:27031707

  2. Statistically Controlling for Confounding Constructs Is Harder than You Think.

    PubMed

    Westfall, Jacob; Yarkoni, Tal

    2016-01-01

    Social scientists often seek to demonstrate that a construct has incremental validity over and above other related constructs. However, these claims are typically supported by measurement-level models that fail to consider the effects of measurement (un)reliability. We use intuitive examples, Monte Carlo simulations, and a novel analytical framework to demonstrate that common strategies for establishing incremental construct validity using multiple regression analysis exhibit extremely high Type I error rates under parameter regimes common in many psychological domains. Counterintuitively, we find that error rates are highest-in some cases approaching 100%-when sample sizes are large and reliability is moderate. Our findings suggest that a potentially large proportion of incremental validity claims made in the literature are spurious. We present a web application (http://jakewestfall.org/ivy/) that readers can use to explore the statistical properties of these and other incremental validity arguments. We conclude by reviewing SEM-based statistical approaches that appropriately control the Type I error rate when attempting to establish incremental validity. PMID:27031707

  3. Justification of the canonical quantization of the Josephson effect and its modifications due to high capacitance energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomorski, Krzysztof; Bednorz, Adam

    2016-03-01

    Quantum devices based on the Josephson effect in superconductors are usually described by a Hamiltonian obtained by commonly used canonical quantization. However, this recipe has not yet been rigorously and systematically justified. We show that this approach is indeed correct in a certain range of parameters. We find the condition of validity of such quantization and the systematic corrections to the Josephson energy E J: namely, the capacitance energy {E}C={e}2/2C must be much smaller than the superconducting gap Δ. Moreover, we find an experimentally testable modification of Josephson energy at large capacitance energy also with nonlinear capacitance.

  4. The Effectiveness of an Attention Bias Modification Program as an Adjunctive Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Kuckertz, Jennie M.; Amir, Nader; Boffa, Joseph W.; Warren, Ciara K.; Rindt, Susan E. M.; Norman, Sonya; Ram, Vasudha; Ziajko, Lauretta; Webb-Murphy, Jennifer; McLay, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) may be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders (Beard, Sawyer, & Hofmann, 2012). As individuals with PTSD possess an attentional bias towards threat-relevant information ABM may prove effective in reducing PTSD symptoms. We examined the efficacy of ABM as an adjunct treatment for PTSD in a real-world setting. We administered ABM in conjunction with prolonged exposure or cognitive-processing therapy and medication in a community inpatient treatment facility for military personnel diagnosed with PTSD. Participants were randomized to either ABM or an attention control condition (ACC). While all participants experienced reductions in PTSD symptoms, participants in the ABM group experienced significantly fewer PTSD and depressive symptoms at post-treatment when compared to the ACC group. Moreover, change in plasticity of attentional bias mediated this change in symptoms and initial attentional bias moderated the effects of the treatment. These results suggest that ABM may be an effective adjunct treatment for PTSD. PMID:25277496

  5. Direct tunneling through high-κ amorphous HfO{sub 2}: Effects of chemical modification

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yin Yu, Zhizhou; Zahid, Ferdows; Wang, Jian; Liu, Lei; Zhu, Yu; Guo, Hong

    2014-07-14

    We report first principles modeling of quantum tunneling through amorphous HfO{sub 2} dielectric layer of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) nanostructures in the form of n-Si/HfO{sub 2}/Al. In particular, we predict that chemically modifying the amorphous HfO{sub 2} barrier by doping N and Al atoms in the middle region—far from the two interfaces of the MOS structure—can reduce the gate-to-channel tunnel leakage by more than one order of magnitude. Several other types of modification are found to enhance tunneling or induce substantial band bending in the Si, both are not desired from leakage point of view. By analyzing transmission coefficients and projected density of states, the microscopic physics of electron traversing the tunnel barrier with or without impurity atoms in the high-κ dielectric is revealed.

  6. Effect of hierarchical porosity and phosphorus modification on the catalytic properties of zeolite Y

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wenlin; Zheng, Jinyu; Luo, Yibin; Da, Zhijian

    2016-09-01

    The zeolite Y is considered as a leading catalyst for FCC industry. The acidity and porosity modification play important roles in determining the final catalytic properties of zeolite Y. The alkaline treatment of zeolite Y by dealumination and alkaline treatment with NaOH and NaOH&TBPH was investigated. The zeolites were characterized by X-ray diffraction, low-temperature adsorption of nitrogen, transmission electron microscope, NMR, NH3-TPD and IR study of acidity. Accordingly, the hierarchical porosity and acidity property were discussed systematically. Finally, the catalytic performance of the zeolites Y was evaluated in the cracking of 1,3,5-TIPB. It was found that desilication with NaOH&TBPH ensured the more uniform intracrystalline mesoporosity with higher microporosity, while preserving higher B/L ratio and moderate Brønsted acidities resulting in catalysts with the most appropriated acidity and then with better catalytic performance.

  7. Effects of the order of addition of reagents and alkali on modification of wheat starches.

    PubMed

    Sui, Zhongquan; Huber, Kerry C; BeMiller, James N

    2015-07-10

    The objective of this research was to determine if adding reactive reagents to wheat starch granules before addition of alkali (the TRF method) would produce products that are different than those obtained with the conventional procedure (adding alkali before addition of reagent). Laboratory-isolated (LI) and commercial (C) normal (NWS) and waxy (WWS) wheat starches were each reacted with 6 reagents (acetic-adipic mixed anhydride (AAMA), phosphoryl chloride (POCl3), sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP), acetic anhydride (AA), succinic anhydride (SA), octenylsuccinic anhydride (OSA)). Data obtained were similar to those previously obtained with maize starches (Sui, Huber, & BeMiller, 2013). Almost no starch polymer molecule modification occurred when the TRF method and AAMA or AA were used; less than a third as much reaction when SA was the reagent used, and about the same amount of reaction when POCl3, STMP, or OSA were the reagents used (for different reasons). PMID:25857973

  8. Negative effects of desiccation on the protein sorting and post-translational modification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqin; He, Yikun

    2009-05-01

    Bryophytes as the first land plants are believed to have colonized the land from a fresh water origin, requiring adaptive mechanisms that survival of dehydration. Physcomitrella patens is such a non-vascular bryophyte and shows rare desiccation tolerance in its vegetative tissues. Previous studies showed that during the course of dehydration, several related processes are set in motion: plasmolysis, chloroplast remodeling and microtubule depolymerization. And proteomic alteration supported the cellular structural changes in respond to desiccation stress. In this addendum, we report that Golgi bodies are absent and adaptor protein complex AP-1 large subunit is downregulated during the course of dehydration. Those phenomena may be adverse in protein posttranslational modification, protein sorting and cell walls synthesis under the desiccation condition. PMID:19816114

  9. Effect of Structural Modifications on the Self-Assembly of Oligoprolines Conjugated with Sterically Demanding Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Lewandowska, Urszula; Zajaczkowski, Wojciech; Pisula, Wojciech; Ma, Yingjie; Li, Chen; Müllen, Klaus; Wennemers, Helma

    2016-03-01

    Conjugates between oligoprolines and sterically demanding perylene monoimides (PMIs) form hierarchical supramolecular self-assemblies. The influence of the length and stereochemistry at the attachment site between the peptide backbone and the chromophore on the self-assembly properties of the conjugates was explored. Comparison between oligoprolines bearing 4R- or 4S-configured azidoprolines (Azp) for the conjugation with the PMIs revealed that diastereoisomers with 4R configuration guide the self-assembly consistently better than conjugates with 4S configuration. Elongating the peptide chain beyond nine proline residues or introducing structural "errors", by altering the absolute configuration of one stereogenic center at the outside of the functionalizable oligoproline helix, lowered the efficacy of self-assembly significantly, both in solution phase and in the solid state. The results showed how subtle structural modifications allow for tuning the self-assembly of chromophores and provided further design principles for the development of peptide-chromophore conjugates into nanostructured materials. PMID:26891419

  10. Influence of potentially confounding factors on sea urchin porewater toxicity tests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, R.S.; Biedenbach, J.M.; Nipper, M.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of potentially confounding factors has been identified as a concern for interpreting sea urchin porewater toxicity test data. The results from >40 sediment-quality assessment surveys using early-life stages of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were compiled and examined to determine acceptable ranges of natural variables such as pH, ammonia, and dissolved organic carbon on the fertilization and embryological development endpoints. In addition, laboratory experiments were also conducted with A. punctulata and compared with information from the literature. Pore water with pH as low as 6.9 is an unlikely contributor to toxicity for the fertilization and embryological development tests with A. punctulata. Other species of sea urchin have narrower pH tolerance ranges. Ammonia is rarely a contributing factor in pore water toxicity tests using the fertilization endpoint, but the embryological development endpoint may be influenced by ammonia concentrations commonly found in porewater samples. Therefore, ammonia needs to be considered when interpreting results for the embryological development test. Humic acid does not affect sea urchin fertilization at saturation concentrations, but it could have an effect on the embryological development endpoint at near-saturation concentrations. There was no correlation between sediment total organic carbon concentrations and porewater dissolved organic carbon concentrations. Because of the potential for many varying substances to activate parthenogenesis in sea urchin eggs, it is recommended that a no-sperm control be included with every fertilization test treatment. ?? 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  11. Fat Confounds the Observed Apparent Diffusion Coefficient in Patients with Hepatic Steatosis

    PubMed Central

    Hansmann, Jan; Hernando, Diego; Reeder, Scott B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Triglyceride signal contained in peaks near the water peak remain unsuppressed by conventional fat suppression techniques used in diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). In this work we investigated the dependence of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) on liver fat content and whether it is confounded by fat signal. Methods 43 patients underwent liver DWI (b=0,500s/mm2) and single-voxel MR-spectroscopy (MRS). Proton density fat-fraction (PDFF;range 0.23–34.5%) was measured from MRS. A theoretical model was developed to account for the effects of fat on observed ADC, and used to correct the ADC. Linear correlation analysis was performed to assess the relationship between PDFF and ADC before and after correction. Results Linear correlation analysis showed an inverse dependence between observed ADC and PDFF before correction (r2=0.132;p=0.017), and no dependence after correction (r2=0.033;p=0.24). Conclusion The observed decrease in ADC in patients with fatty liver is, at least in part, artifactual due to residual fat signal near the water peak. PMID:23161434

  12. Utility of ethological analysis to overcome locomotor confounds in elevated maze models of anxiety.

    PubMed

    Weiss, S M; Wadsworth, G; Fletcher, A; Dourish, C T

    1998-01-01

    The elevated plus-maze is a commonly used model to identify putative anxiolytic and anxiogenic drugs. However, the validity of elevated plus-maze and other recently developed variants such as the elevated zero-maze has recently been questioned on the grounds that both the reference anxiolytic drug chlordiazepoxide and the psychostimulant d-amphetamine increase open arm exploration and stimulate locomotor activity. These findings suggest that measures of "anxiety" in the elevated maze cannot be adequately dissociated from simple changes in locomotor activity, which may confound the interpretation of results obtained using these models. A variety of approaches to assess drug effects on locomotor activity in the elevated maze have been suggested, including the use of total and closed arm entries, as well as supplementary tests such as exploration of the holeboard apparatus. However, all these approaches utilise the measurement of exploration in a novel environment, and as such, could potentially be influenced by either changes in anxiety or locomotor activity. Recently, it has been shown that ethological measures of "risk assessment", such as stretched-attend postures and head-dipping, are sensitive indicators of drug-effects in the elevated maze. The present study assessed the utility of ethological analysis in dissociating locomotor activity from "anxiety" by comparing the effects of d-amphetamine to those of chlordiazepoxide in the rat elevated zero-maze. The results showed that both chlordiazepoxide and d-amphetamine increase the amount of time spent in the open arms and reduce "risk assessment" without increasing line crossing or rearing. These results confirm that under certain test conditions, psychostimulants are capable of producing "false-positives" in elevated maze models, and that both traditional methods and the ethological measures used in this study fail to unequivocally dissociate drug effects on anxiety from effects on locomotor activity. Further

  13. Do time-invariant confounders explain away the association between job stress and workers' mental health? Evidence from Japanese occupational panel data.

    PubMed

    Oshio, Takashi; Tsutsumi, Akizumi; Inoue, Akiomi

    2015-02-01

    It is well known that job stress is negatively related to workers' mental health, but most recent studies have not controlled for unobserved time-invariant confounders. In the current study, we attempted to validate previous observations on the association between job stress and workers' mental health, by removing the effects of unobserved time-invariant confounders. We used data from three to four waves of an occupational Japanese cohort survey, focusing on 31,382 observations of 9741 individuals who participated in at least two consecutive waves. We estimated mean-centered fixed effects models to explain psychological distress in terms of the Kessler 6 (K6) scores (range: 0-24) by eight job stress indicators related to the job demands-control, effort-reward imbalance, and organizational injustice models. Mean-centered fixed effects models reduced the magnitude of the association between jobs stress and K6 scores to 44.8-54.2% of those observed from pooled ordinary least squares. However, the association remained highly significant even after controlling for unobserved time-invariant confounders for all job stress indicators. In addition, alternatively specified models showed the robustness of the results. In all, we concluded that the validity of major job stress models, which link job stress and workers' mental health, was robust, although unobserved time-invariant confounders led to an overestimation of the association. PMID:25550077

  14. Angular momentum effects and barrier modification in sub-barrier fusion reactions using the proximity potential in the Wong formula

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Raj; Bansal, Manie; Arun, Sham K.; Gupta, Raj K.

    2009-09-15

    Using the capture cross-section data from {sup 48}Ca+{sup 238}U, {sup 48}Ca+{sup 244}Pu, and {sup 48}Ca+{sup 248}Cm reactions in the superheavy mass region, and fusion-evaporation cross sections from {sup 58}Ni+{sup 58}Ni, {sup 64}Ni+{sup 64}Ni, and {sup 64}Ni+{sup 100}Mo reactions known for fusion hindrance phenomenon in coupled-channels calculations, the Wong formula is assessed for its angular momentum and barrier-modification effects at sub-barrier energies. The simple, l=0 barrier-based Wong formula is shown to ignore the modifications of the barrier due to its inbuilt l dependence via l summation, which is found to be adequate enough to explain the capture cross sections for all the three above-mentioned {sup 48}Ca-based reactions forming superheavy systems. For the capture (equivalently, quasifission) reactions, the complete l-summed Wong formula is shown to be the same as the dynamical cluster-decay model expression, of one of us (R.K.G.) and collaborators, with the condition of fragment preformation probability P{sub 0}{sup l}=1 for all the angular momentum l values. In the case of fusion-evaporation cross sections, however, a further modification of barriers is required for below-barrier energies, affected in terms of either the barrier 'lowering' or barrier 'narrowing' via the curvature constant. Calculations are made for use of nuclear proximity potential, with effects of multipole deformations included up to hexadecapole, and orientation degrees of freedom integrated for both the coplanar and noncoplanar configurations.

  15. Modification of Leaf Glucosinolate Contents in Brassica oleracea by Divergent Selection and Effect on Expression of Genes Controlling Glucosinolate Pathway.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo; Soengas, Pilar; Rodríguez, Víctor M; Cartea, María E

    2016-01-01

    Modification of the content of secondary metabolites opens the possibility of obtaining vegetables enriched in these compounds related to plant defense and human health. We report the first results of a divergent selection for glucosinolate (GSL) content of the three major GSL in leaves: sinigrin (SIN), glucoiberin (GIB), and glucobrassicin (GBS) in order to develop six kale genotypes (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) with high (HSIN, HIGIB, HGBS) and low (LSIN, LGIB, LGBS) content. The aims were to determine if the three divergent selections were successful in leaves, how each divergent selection affected the content of the same GSLs in flower buds and seeds and to determine which genes would be involved in the modification of the content of the three GSL studied. The content of SIN and GIB after three cycles of divergent selection increased 52.5% and 77.68%, and decreased 51.9% and 45.33%, respectively. The divergent selection for GBS content was only successful and significant for decreasing the concentration, with a reduction of 39.04%. Mass selection is an efficient way of modifying the concentration of individual GSLs. Divergent selections realized in leaves had a side effect in the GSL contents of flower buds and seeds due to the novo synthesis in these organs and/or translocation from leaves. The results obtained suggest that modification in the SIN and GIB concentration by selection is related to the GSL-ALK locus. We suggest that this locus could be related with the indirect response found in the GBS concentration. Meantime, variations in the CYP81F2 gene expression could be the responsible of the variations in GBS content. The genotypes obtained in this study can be used as valuable materials for undertaking basic studies about the biological effects of the major GSLs present in kales. PMID:27471510

  16. Modification of Leaf Glucosinolate Contents in Brassica oleracea by Divergent Selection and Effect on Expression of Genes Controlling Glucosinolate Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo; Soengas, Pilar; Rodríguez, Víctor M.; Cartea, María E.

    2016-01-01

    Modification of the content of secondary metabolites opens the possibility of obtaining vegetables enriched in these compounds related to plant defense and human health. We report the first results of a divergent selection for glucosinolate (GSL) content of the three major GSL in leaves: sinigrin (SIN), glucoiberin (GIB), and glucobrassicin (GBS) in order to develop six kale genotypes (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) with high (HSIN, HIGIB, HGBS) and low (LSIN, LGIB, LGBS) content. The aims were to determine if the three divergent selections were successful in leaves, how each divergent selection affected the content of the same GSLs in flower buds and seeds and to determine which genes would be involved in the modification of the content of the three GSL studied. The content of SIN and GIB after three cycles of divergent selection increased 52.5% and 77.68%, and decreased 51.9% and 45.33%, respectively. The divergent selection for GBS content was only successful and significant for decreasing the concentration, with a reduction of 39.04%. Mass selection is an efficient way of modifying the concentration of individual GSLs. Divergent selections realized in leaves had a side effect in the GSL contents of flower buds and seeds due to the novo synthesis in these organs and/or translocation from leaves. The results obtained suggest that modification in the SIN and GIB concentration by selection is related to the GSL-ALK locus. We suggest that this locus could be related with the indirect response found in the GBS concentration. Meantime, variations in the CYP81F2 gene expression could be the responsible of the variations in GBS content. The genotypes obtained in this study can be used as valuable materials for undertaking basic studies about the biological effects of the major GSLs present in kales. PMID:27471510

  17. Correlations between cannabis use and IQ change in the Dunedin cohort are consistent with confounding from socioeconomic status.

    PubMed

    Rogeberg, Ole

    2013-03-12

    Does cannabis use have substantial and permanent effects on neuropsychological functioning? Renewed and intense attention to the issue has followed recent research on the Dunedin cohort, which found a positive association between, on the one hand, adolescent-onset cannabis use and dependence and, on the other hand, a decline in IQ from childhood to adulthood [Meier et al. (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(40):E2657-E2664]. The association is given a causal interpretation by the authors, but existing research suggests an alternative confounding model based on time-varying effects of socioeconomic status on IQ. A simulation of the confounding model reproduces the reported associations from the Dunedin cohort, suggesting that the causal effects estimated in Meier et al. are likely to be overestimates, and that the true effect could be zero. Further analyses of the Dunedin cohort are proposed to distinguish between the competing interpretations. Although it would be too strong to say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature. PMID:23319626

  18. Correlations between cannabis use and IQ change in the Dunedin cohort are consistent with confounding from socioeconomic status

    PubMed Central

    Rogeberg, Ole

    2013-01-01

    Does cannabis use have substantial and permanent effects on neuropsychological functioning? Renewed and intense attention to the issue has followed recent research on the Dunedin cohort, which found a positive association between, on the one hand, adolescent-onset cannabis use and dependence and, on the other hand, a decline in IQ from childhood to adulthood [Meier et al. (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109(40):E2657–E2664]. The association is given a causal interpretation by the authors, but existing research suggests an alternative confounding model based on time-varying effects of socioeconomic status on IQ. A simulation of the confounding model reproduces the reported associations from the Dunedin cohort, suggesting that the causal effects estimated in Meier et al. are likely to be overestimates, and that the true effect could be zero. Further analyses of the Dunedin cohort are proposed to distinguish between the competing interpretations. Although it would be too strong to say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed and the causal inference drawn from the results premature. PMID:23319626

  19. Assessment and Indirect Adjustment for Confounding by Smoking in Cohort Studies Using Relative Hazards Models

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, David B.; Laurier, Dominique; Schubauer-Berigan, Mary K.; Tchetgen, Eric Tchetgen; Cole, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Workers' smoking histories are not measured in many occupational cohort studies. Here we discuss the use of negative control outcomes to detect and adjust for confounding in analyses that lack information on smoking. We clarify the assumptions necessary to detect confounding by smoking and the additional assumptions necessary to indirectly adjust for such bias. We illustrate these methods using data from 2 studies of radiation and lung cancer: the Colorado Plateau cohort study (1950–2005) of underground uranium miners (in which smoking was measured) and a French cohort study (1950–2004) of nuclear industry workers (in which smoking was unmeasured). A cause-specific relative hazards model is proposed for estimation of indirectly adjusted associations. Among the miners, the proposed method suggests no confounding by smoking of the association between radon and lung cancer—a conclusion supported by adjustment for measured smoking. Among the nuclear workers, the proposed method suggests substantial confounding by smoking of the association between radiation and lung cancer. Indirect adjustment for confounding by smoking resulted in an 18% decrease in the adjusted estimated hazard ratio, yet this cannot be verified because smoking was unmeasured. Assumptions underlying this method are described, and a cause-specific proportional hazards model that allows easy implementation using standard software is presented. PMID:25245043

  20. Effects of Wutou Decoction on DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications in Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Cai-Yu-Zhu; Chen, Zhe; Wang, Yu; Huang, Ying; Hu, Yong-Hong; Tu, Sheng-Hao

    2016-01-01

    Background. Wutou decoction (WTD) has been wildly applied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and experimental arthritis in rats for many years. Epigenetic deregulation is associated with the aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis; however, the effects of WTD on epigenetic changes are unclear. This study is set to explore the effects of WTD on DNA methylation and histone modifications in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Methods. The CIA model was established by the stimulation of collagen and adjuvant. The knee synovium was stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and methylated CpG binding domain 2 (MBD2) expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by Real-Time PCR. The global DNA histone H3-K4/H3-K27 methylation and total histones H3 and H4 acetylation of PBMCs were detected. Results. Our data demonstrated that the DNMT1 mRNA expression was significantly lowered in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). The DNA methylation level was significantly reduced in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). Moreover, H3 acetylation of PBMCs was overexpressed in WTD compared with CIA (P < 0.05). Conclusions. WTD may modulate DNA methylation and histone modifications, functioning as anti-inflammatory potential. PMID:27042192

  1. Effects of Wutou Decoction on DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications in Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya-Fei; Wen, Cai-Yu-Zhu; Chen, Zhe; Wang, Yu; Huang, Ying; Hu, Yong-Hong; Tu, Sheng-Hao

    2016-01-01

    Background. Wutou decoction (WTD) has been wildly applied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and experimental arthritis in rats for many years. Epigenetic deregulation is associated with the aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis; however, the effects of WTD on epigenetic changes are unclear. This study is set to explore the effects of WTD on DNA methylation and histone modifications in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Methods. The CIA model was established by the stimulation of collagen and adjuvant. The knee synovium was stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and methylated CpG binding domain 2 (MBD2) expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by Real-Time PCR. The global DNA histone H3-K4/H3-K27 methylation and total histones H3 and H4 acetylation of PBMCs were detected. Results. Our data demonstrated that the DNMT1 mRNA expression was significantly lowered in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). The DNA methylation level was significantly reduced in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). Moreover, H3 acetylation of PBMCs was overexpressed in WTD compared with CIA (P < 0.05). Conclusions. WTD may modulate DNA methylation and histone modifications, functioning as anti-inflammatory potential. PMID:27042192

  2. Post-study therapy as a source of confounding in survival analysis of first-line studies in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zietemann, Vera D; Schuster, Tibor; Duell, Thomas HG

    2011-01-01

    Clinical trials exploring the long-term effects of first-line therapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer generally disregard subsequent treatment although most patients receive second and third-line therapies. The choice of further therapy depends on critical intermediate events such as disease progression and it is usually left at the physician’s discretion. Time-dependent confounding may then arise with standard survival analyses producing biased effect estimates, even in randomized trials. Herein we describe the concept of time-dependent confounding in detail and discuss whether the response to first-line treatment may be a potential time-dependent confounding factor for survival in the context of subsequent therapy. A prospective observational study of 406 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer served as an example base. There is evidence that time-dependent confounding may occur in multivariate survival analysis after first-line therapy when disregarding subsequent treatment. In the light of this important but underestimated aspect some of the large and meaningful recent clinical first-line lung cancer studies are discussed, focussing on subsequent treatment and its potential impact on the survival of the study patients. No recently performed lung cancer trial applied adequate statistical analyses despite the frequent use of subsequent therapies. In conclusion, effect estimates from standard survival analysis may be biased even in randomized controlled trials because of time-dependent confounding. To adequately assess treatment effects on long-term outcomes appropriate statistical analyses need to take subsequent treatment into account. PMID:22263071

  3. Effect of structural modification on the gastrointestinal stability and hepatic metabolism of α-aminoxy peptides.

    PubMed

    Ma, Bin; Yin, Chun; Yang, Dan; Lin, Ge

    2012-11-01

    α-Aminoxy peptide AxyP1 has been reported to form synthetic chloride channel in living cells, thus it may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of diseases associated with chloride channel dysfunction. However, this study revealed significant gastrointestinal (GI) instability and extensive hepatic metabolism of AxyP1. To improve its GI and metabolic stability, structural modifications were conducted by replacing the isobutyl side chains of AxyP1 with methyl group (AxyP2), hydroxymethyl group (AxyP3), 4-aminobutyl group (AxyP4) and 3-carboxyl propyl group (AxyP5). Compared with AxyP1 (41 and 47 % degradation), GI stability of the modified peptides was significantly improved by 8-fold (AxyP2), 9-fold (AxyP3) and 12-fold (AxyP5) with no degradation for AxyP4 in simulated gastric fluid within 1 h, and by 12-fold (AxyP2) and 9-fold (AxyP3) with no degradation for AxyP4 and AxyP5 in simulated intestinal fluid within 3 h, respectively. The hepatic metabolic stability of the four modified peptides within 30 min in rat liver S9 preparation was also improved significantly with no metabolism of AxyP5 and threefold (AxyP2 and AxyP4) and eightfold (AxyP3) less metabolism compared with AxyP1 (39 % metabolism). Unlike hydrolysis as the major metabolism of peptides of natural α-amino acids, oxidation mediated by the cytochrome P450 enzymes, especially CYP3A subfamily, to form the corresponding mono-hydroxyl metabolites was the predominant hepatic metabolism of the five α-aminoxy peptides tested. The present findings demonstrate that structural modification can significantly improve the GI and metabolic stability of α-aminoxy peptides and thus increase their potential for therapeutic use in the treatment of chloride channel related diseases. PMID:22526242

  4. Meta-analysis of lung cancer in asphalt roofing and paving workers with external adjustment for confounding by coal tar

    SciTech Connect

    Fayerweather, W.E.

    2007-07-01

    The study's objectives were to update Partanen's and Boffetta's 1994 meta-analysis of lung cancer among roofing and paving asphalt workers and explore the role of coal tar in explaining the statistical heterogeneity among these studies. Information retrieval strategies and eligibility criteria were defined for identifying the epidemiologic studies to be included in the analysis. The relative risk ratio (RR) for lung cancer was selected as the effect measure of interest. Coal tar bias factors were developed and used to externally adjust each eligible study's published RR for confounding by coal tar. The meta-Relative Risk (meta-RR) and its variance were estimated by general variance-based methods. Heterogeneity of the RRs was assessed by heterogeneity chi-square and I{sup 2} tests. The results from this update were similar to those in Partanen's and Boffetta's original meta-analysis. Although the meta-RRs for the roofers and the pavers were no longer statistically significantly different from one another, significant heterogeneity remained within each of the coal tar-adjusted sectors. Meta-analysis of non-experimental epidemiologic studies is subject to significant uncertainties as is externally correcting studies for confounding. Given these uncertainties, the specific quantitative estimates in this (or any similar) analysis must be viewed with caution. Nevertheless, this analysis provides support for the hypothesis proposed by several major reviewers that confounding by coal tar-related PAH exposures may explain most or all of the lung cancer risks found in the epidemiologic literature on asphalt roofing and paving workers.

  5. Evaluation of AUSDRISK as a screening tool for lifestyle modification programs: international implications for policy and cost-effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Malo, Jonathan A; Versace, Vincent L; Janus, Edward D; Laatikainen, Tiina; Peltonen, Markku; Vartiainen, Erkki; Coates, Michael J; Dunbar, James A

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the current use of Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK) as a screening tool to identify individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes for entry into lifestyle modification programs. Research Design and Methods AUSDRISK scores were calculated from participants aged 40–74 years in the Greater Green Triangle Risk Factor Study, a cross-sectional population survey in 3 regions of Southwest Victoria, Australia, 2004–2006. Biomedical profiles of AUSDRISK risk categories were determined along with estimates of the Victorian population included at various cut-off scores. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value, and receiver operating characteristics were calculated for AUSDRISK in determining fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥6.1 mmol/L. Results Increasing AUSDRISK scores were associated with an increase in weight, body mass index, FPG, and metabolic syndrome. Increasing the minimum cut-off score also increased the proportion of individuals who were obese and centrally obese, had impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and metabolic syndrome. An AUSDRISK score of ≥12 was estimated to include 39.5% of the Victorian population aged 40–74 (916 000), while a score of ≥20 would include only 5.2% of the same population (120 000). At AUSDRISK≥20, the PPV for detecting FPG≥6.1 mmol/L was 28.4%. Conclusions AUSDRISK is powered to predict those with IFG and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, but its effectiveness as the sole determinant for entry into a lifestyle modification program is questionable given the large proportion of the population screened-in using the current minimum cut-off of ≥12. AUSDRISK should be used in conjunction with oral glucose tolerance testing, fasting glucose, or glycated hemoglobin to identify those individuals at highest risk of progression to type 2 diabetes, who should be the primary targets for lifestyle modification. PMID:26468399

  6. Different effects of thiol and nonthiol ace inhibitors on copper-induced lipid and protein oxidative modification.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, A C; Filipe, P M; Freitas, J P; Manso, C F

    1996-01-01

    Differences among angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) in scavenging reactive oxygen species were described and mainly attributed to the presence or absence of a thiol group. Plasma constituents and red cells are known targets for oxidative damage. Transition metals, like copper, are well known catalizers of free radical generation. In the present study we compared the abilities of captopril (a thiol ACEI), enalaprilat, and lisinopril (two nonthiol ACEI) for inhibiting copper-induced thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) formation and fluorescence generation in whole human plasma and low-density lipoprotein. The effects of those ACEI on copper/hydrogen peroxide-induced fluorescence development and electrophoretic mobility modification in albumin and on copper-induced TBARS formation and hemolysis in human red cells were also compared. Captopril was more effective than the two nonthiol ACEI in inhibiting plasma and LDL lipid peroxidation, but it was ineffective in inhibiting the albumin oxidative modification that was moderately inhibited by enalaprilat and lisinopril. On the contrary, the inhibitory effects of the three ACEI on copper-induced lipid peroxidation and hemolysis in red cell suspensions were more uniform. This as yet unreported red cell protective effect may deserve pharmacological evaluation. Our results show that captopril is a more effective antioxidant than the nonthiol ACEI in some systems. However, the nonthiol ACEI also have the ability to partially protect some targets against oxidative damage. These observations suggest that the presence of a thiol group in the ACEI structure is not the only determinant for the antioxidant properties. PMID:8904291

  7. Operation of marine diesel engines on biogenic fuels: modification of emissions and resulting climate effects.

    PubMed

    Petzold, Andreas; Lauer, Peter; Fritsche, Uwe; Hasselbach, Jan; Lichtenstern, Michael; Schlager, Hans; Fleischer, Fritz

    2011-12-15

    The modification of emissions of climate-sensitive exhaust compounds such as CO(2), NO(x), hydrocarbons, and particulate matter from medium-speed marine diesel engines was studied for a set of fossil and biogenic fuels. Applied fossil fuels were the reference heavy fuel oil (HFO) and the low-sulfur marine gas oil (MGO); biogenic fuels were palm oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and animal fat. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to the production of biogenic fuels were treated by means of a fuel life cycle analysis which included land use changes associated with the growth of energy plants. Emissions of CO(2) and NO(x) per kWh were found to be similar for fossil fuels and biogenic fuels. PM mass emission was reduced to 10-15% of HFO emissions for all low-sulfur fuels including MGO as a fossil fuel. Black carbon emissions were reduced significantly to 13-30% of HFO. Changes in emissions were predominantly related to particulate sulfate, while differences between low-sulfur fossil fuels and low-sulfur biogenic fuels were of minor significance. GHG emissions from the biogenic fuel life cycle (FLC) depend crucially on energy plant production conditions and have the potential of shifting the overall GHG budget from positive to negative compared to fossil fuels. PMID:22044020

  8. Effects of filler modification and structuring on dielectric enhancement of silicone rubber composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javadi, Sara; Razzaghi-Kashani, Mehdi

    2013-04-01

    Preferred structuring of filler particles in a polymer matrix by using dielectrophoretic assembly process can enhance anisotropic dielectric properties. For this purpose, precipitated silica (SiO2) was structured in silicone rubber using an alternating electric field. This filler structure was stabilized by vulcanizing rubber during electric field application. Filler particle orientation and resulted anisotropy was verified by equilibrium swelling. Structuring filler in the rubber matrix led to increased dielectric permittivity and loss in the thickness direction. Filler surface modification by (vinyl-tris-(2- diethoxy/methoxy) silane) improved structure formation and anisotropic properties. It was shown that applying silane modifier and orientation of silica particles by dielectrophoretic assembly process increased dielectric permittivity of silicone rubber in the thickness direction while dielectric loss had either minor changes or increased less than permittivity in this direction. Although elastic modulus of composite, which was measured by dynamic-mechanical analysis, increased to some extent, enhancement in dielectric permittivity was much higher. This introduced the structured composite as a potential for dielectric elastomeric actuator with higher efficiency than the original silicone rubber with no filler addition.

  9. Sodium Deoxycholate Hydrogels: Effects of Modifications on Gelation, Drug Release, and Nanotemplating.

    PubMed

    McNeel, Kelsey E; Das, Susmita; Siraj, Noureen; Negulescu, Ioan I; Warner, Isiah M

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, sodium deoxycholate (NaDC) was used to produce gelation of tris(hydroxymethyl)amino-methane (TRIS) solutions above, below, and near the pKa of NaDC, respectively, which yielded a neutral gelator, a charged gelator, and a mixture of each. Impacts of ionic interactions on gel formation were studied in detail and showed that pH can be used to modify many hydrogel properties including sol-gel temperature, crystallinity, and mechanical strength. Several formulations yielded a unique rheological finding of two stable regions of elastic modulus. The release of a small molecule has been investigated under different hydrogel conditions and at variable shear rate, suggesting utility as a drug-delivery vehicle. It was also observed that pH modification of the hydrogels affected nanoparticle formation. Nanoparticles derived from a Group of Uniform Materials Based on Organic Salts (nanoGUMBOS), specifically cyanine-based NIR dyes, were templated within the hydrogel network for potential applications in tissue imaging. These nanoGUMBOS were found to be size-tunable, although material-dependent. Further understanding of NaDC/TRIS gelation has broadened the tunability and multidimensional applications of these tailored hydrogel systems. PMID:26039574

  10. Infrared spectroscopic studies of galvanic effect influence on surface modification of sulfide minerals by surfactant adsorption.

    PubMed

    Mielczarski, Ela; Mielczarski, Jerzy A

    2005-08-15

    The influence of interaction between mineral components in natural mixtures on the adsorption of organic and inorganic species on the mineral surfaces is recognized. However, the surface phenomena have been meagerly investigated. In this study the formation of different surface species of surfactant (amyl xanthate, C5H11OC(S)S-) adsorbed on FeS2, PbS, and CuFeS2 has been spectroscopically investigated in single-mineral and complex systems. The type and amount of adsorbed species were determined directly on each mineral surface by infrared external reflection spectroscopy. Galvanic interaction between grains of different minerals could have tremendous consequence on the adsorption of surfactants on each mineral component and their future reactivity. The detected changes are dramatic, from no adsorption to the formation of several layers of hydrophobic or hydrophilic surface products depending on which minerals are in contact. It has been documented that even very short contact time between different mineral grains by collision is sufficient to produce dramatic modification of the surface composition and structure. The results obtained indicate clearly that the observations and conclusions aboutthe surfactant adsorption made in a single mineral system cannot be simply extrapolated to describe the real situation in natural multicomponent mineral systems. The obtained information on sulfide mineral interaction in complex systems is indispensable to understand processes taking place in nature at mineral-water interfaces (dissolution of heavy metals). An additional benefit is the improved ability to design efficient separation processes of these minerals. PMID:16173571

  11. Quantitative DEMS study of ethanol oxidation: effect of surface structure and Sn surface modification.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, Ehab; Abd-El-Latif, Abd-El-Aziz A; Ilsley, Richard; Attard, Gary; Baltruschat, Helmut

    2012-12-14

    Using the dual thin layer flow through cell, a semi-quantitative analysis of the volatile products during the electrooxidation of adsorbed and bulk solution of 0.01 M ethanol at polycrystalline platinum, smooth, roughened and Sn modified Pt(11,1,1), Pt(311) electrodes has been done by on-line differential electrochemical mass spectroscopy (DEMS). In addition to the current efficiency of CO(2), that of acetaldehyde was determined as a function of the flow rate. At polycrystalline platinum, ethanol oxidation produces only acetaldehyde; the amount of acetaldehyde further oxidized to acetic acid is negligible due to convection conditions. For comparison and for calibration purposes, i-propanol oxidation was examined for which acetone is the only oxidation product. At Pt(11,1,1), the main oxidation product is acetaldehyde. At Pt(311), in addition to acetaldehyde, acetic acid was also formed. Surface modification with Sn did not increase the reactivity of Pt(11,1,1) instead it led to inhibition of the ethanol oxidation. In the case of Pt(311), the onset potential of oxidation was shifted negatively by 0.2 V in the presence of Sn. The results of the potentiostatic measurements showed that this shift is not associated with the production of CO(2); rather acetic acid and acetaldehyde are the main oxidation products. PMID:23108295

  12. Finite element study on modification of bracket base and its effects on bond strength

    PubMed Central

    Shyagali, Tarulatha R.; Bhayya, Deepak P.; Urs, Chandralekha B.; Subramaniam, Shashikala

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This article aims to analyze the difference in stresses generated in the bracket-cement-tooth system by means of a peel load in single and double-mesh bracket bases using a three-dimensional finite element computer model. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A three-dimensional finite element model of the bracket-cement-tooth system was constructed and consisted of 40,536 bonds and 49,201 finite elements using a commercial mesh generating programmer (ANSYS 7.0). Both single and double-mesh bracket bases were modified by varying the diameter from 100-400 µm progressively, and the spacing between the mesh wires was kept at 300 µm for each diameter of wire. A peel load was applied on the model to study the stresses generated in different layers. RESULTS: In case of double-mesh bracket base, there was reduction in stress generation at the enamel in comparison to single-mesh bracket base. There was no difference in stress generated at the bracket layer between single and double-mesh bracket bases. At the impregnated wire mesh (IWM), layer stresses increased as the wire diameter of the mesh increased. CONCLUSION: Results show that bracket design modification can improve bonding abilities and simultaneously reduce enamel damage while debonding. These facts may be used in bringing about the new innovative bracket designs for clinical use. PMID:25992991

  13. Effect of classroom modification on attention and engagement of students with autism or dyspraxia.

    PubMed

    Kinnealey, Moya; Pfeiffer, Beth; Miller, Jennifer; Roan, Cecilia; Shoener, Rachel; Ellner, Matt L

    2012-01-01

    Students with autism display sensory sensitivities to environmental stimuli that affect their attending and engagement in classroom learning activities. The purpose of the study was to determine whether attending of 4 male students, ages 13-20, increased after the installation of sound-absorbing walls and halogen lighting. The multiple single-subject, mixed-method design, AB(B+C), included a 2-wk baseline and two intervention phases: 2 wk after sound-absorbing wall installation using the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System™ (Owens Corning, Toledo, OH) and 2 wk after halogen light installation. We calculated nonattending frequencies from videotaped class sessions and used visual analysis to measure within-phase and between-phase characteristics. Results included increased frequency and stability of attending and engagement and improved classroom performance, comfort, and mood. Journaling provided students' perspective on the modifications and reflected overall increased sensory comfort and themes of improved classroom environment, positive emotional response (mood), and improved classroom performance. PMID:22917117

  14. Effect of laser modification of B-Ni complex layer on wear resistance and microhardness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartkowska, Aneta; Pertek, Aleksandra; Popławski, Mikołaj; Bartkowski, Dariusz; Przestacki, Damian; Miklaszewski, Andrzej

    2015-09-01

    The paper presents the results of microstructure observations, microhardness measurements and wear resistance tests of B-Ni complex layers. Boronickelizing is a three-step process of layer production on metallic substrate. Nickel modified boronized layers were called 'boronickelized'. Nickel plating was applied first and, as a result, nickel coatings with a varying thickness were obtained. Diffusion boronizing was carried out as a second step. Boronickelized layer was formed following the merger of galvanic and diffusion processes. In the third step the galvanic-diffusion boronickelized layer was obtained by remelting it with a CO2 laser beam. Galvanic-diffusion boronickelized layer had a dual-zone microstructure. The first zone was continuous and nickel-enriched, and characterized by reduced microhardness, whereas the second zone was characterized by needle-shaped microstructure, with microhardness similar to Fe2B iron borides. After laser modification steel specimens with the boronickelized layer consisted of remelted zone (MZ), heat affected zone (HAZ), and substrate. It was found that increasing the thickness of nickel coating leads to decreasing the microhardness of the remelted zone. Increasing thickness of nickel coating causes the reduction of wear resistance of boronickelized layer modified by laser beam. The application of a nickel coating thicker than 20 μm causes incomplete remelting of needle-shaped microstructure of boronickelized layer.

  15. Distinguishing prostate cancer from benign confounders via a cascaded classifier on multi-parametric MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litjens, G. J. S.; Elliott, R.; Shih, N.; Feldman, M.; Barentsz, J. O.; Hulsbergen-van de Kaa, C. A.; Kovacs, I.; Huisman, H. J.; Madabhushi, A.

    2014-03-01

    Learning how to separate benign confounders from prostate cancer is important because the imaging characteristics of these confounders are poorly understood. Furthermore, the typical representations of the MRI parameters might not be enough to allow discrimination. The diagnostic uncertainty this causes leads to a lower diagnostic accuracy. In this paper a new cascaded classifier is introduced to separate prostate cancer and benign confounders on MRI in conjunction with specific computer-extracted features to distinguish each of the benign classes (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), inflammation, atrophy or prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia (PIN). In this study we tried to (1) calculate different mathematical representations of the MRI parameters which more clearly express subtle differences between different classes, (2) learn which of the MRI image features will allow to distinguish specific benign confounders from prostate cancer, and (2) find the combination of computer-extracted MRI features to best discriminate cancer from the confounding classes using a cascaded classifier. One of the most important requirements for identifying MRI signatures for adenocarcinoma, BPH, atrophy, inflammation, and PIN is accurate mapping of the location and spatial extent of the confounder and cancer categories from ex vivo histopathology to MRI. Towards this end we employed an annotated prostatectomy data set of 31 patients, all of whom underwent a multi-parametric 3 Tesla MRI prior to radical prostatectomy. The prostatectomy slides were carefully co-registered to the corresponding MRI slices using an elastic registration technique. We extracted texture features from the T2-weighted imaging, pharmacokinetic features from the dynamic contrast enhanced imaging and diffusion features from the diffusion-weighted imaging for each of the confounder classes and prostate cancer. These features were selected because they form the mainstay of clinical diagnosis. Relevant features for

  16. Effects of lifestyle modification on metabolic parameters and carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Kim, So Hun; Lee, Suk Jeong; Kang, Eun Seok; Kang, Shinae; Hur, Kyu Yeon; Lee, Hyun Joo; Ahn, Chul Woo; Cha, Bong Soo; Yoo, Ji Soo; Lee, Hyun Chul

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-month intensive lifestyle modification intervention on metabolic parameters and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Fifty-eight subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the control group. The subjects in the intervention group participated in a 16-week intensive lifestyle modification program and subsequent monthly meetings during the 6-month study period. Control subjects received basic dietary education and usual care. Anthropometric data, metabolic parameters, and carotid IMT were examined before the intervention and after 6 months. Lifestyle modification intervention group patients showed a significant reduction in HbA1c (-1.0% +/- 1.3% vs +0.1% +/- 1.2%, P = .002), fasting blood glucose (-1.6 +/- 1.5 vs +0.3 +/- 2.5 mmol/L, P = .001), and 2-hour postprandial plasma glucose (-2.1 +/- 2.5 vs +0.8 +/- 4.4 mmol/L, P = .003) compared with control patients after 6 months. Body weight (-2.0 +/- 2.6 vs +0.2 +/- 1.7 kg, P = .001), body mass index (-0.8 +/- 1.0 vs 0.0 +/- 0.8 kg/m2, P = .003), and systolic blood pressure (-8.2 +/- 15.9 vs +0.4 +/- 14.1 mm Hg, P = .041) were significantly decreased in the intervention group. A significantly reduced carotid mean IMT progression was seen in the intervention group after 6 months (-0.040 +/- 0.136 vs +0.083 +/- 0.167 mm, P = .007). Changes in HbA1c (r = 0.34, P = .028), fasting plasma glucose (r = 0.31, P = .045), and 2-hour postprandial plasma glucose (r = 0.37, P = .015) correlated with the mean carotid IMT change after adjustment for age and sex. In conclusion, a 6-month intensive lifestyle modification intervention in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus resulted in improved glycemic control and decreased progression of carotid IMT. PMID:16839841

  17. Effect of graphene modification on thermo-mechanical and microwave absorption properties of polystyrene/graphene nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Hatui, Goutam; Das, Chapal Kumar

    2012-10-01

    In the present study the effect of graphene percentage and graphene modification on the microwave absorption properties of the polystyrene/graphene nanocomposites was studied in detail. Acid modified graphene was prepared by the mixed acid route. Polystyrene/graphene nanocomposites with various percentages of graphene and modified graphene were prepared by solution mixing process. The dispersion of graphene sheets in the polystyrene matrix was analyzed by TEM and SEM and found to be uniform for the 1%, 2 wt% of graphene and 1 wt% of modified graphene loading. Microwave absorption of modified graphene containing nanocomposite was found to be superior among the nanocomposites. Incorporation of 1 wt% of ferrite particles enhanced the microwave absorption of the nanocomposite above all the nanocomposites, in the whole range of X-band, due to the effective cancellation of both electrical and magnetic components of the microwave. Incorporation of graphene enhanced the thermal and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. PMID:23421175

  18. Modification of Saharan air layer and environmental shear over the eastern Atlantic Ocean by dust-radiation effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shu-Hua; Wang, Sheng-Hsiang; Waylonis, Mark

    2010-11-01

    This study investigates the influence of dust-radiation effects on the modification of the Saharan air layer (SAL) and environmental shear. A tracer model based on the Weather Research and Forecast model was developed to examine the influence using a dust outbreak event. Two numerical experiments were conducted with (ON) and without (OFF) the dust-radiation effects. Both simulations reasonably reproduced SAL's features. However, the 700 hPa maximum temperature within SAL was slightly underestimated and shifted northwestward from OFF. These were improved from ON, but the maximum temperature became slightly overestimated, which might be due to inaccurate optical properties. The dust-radiation interactions mainly warmed the dusty air between 750 and 550 hPa because dust shortwave absorption dominated dust longwave cooling. Another major warming area was found near the surface over the ocean due to longwave radiative heating by dust aloft. The modification of temperature resulted in an adjustment of the vertical wind shear. To the south of SAL, where easterly wave disturbances and tropical storms usually occur, the vertical zonal wind shear increased by about 1˜2.5 m s-1 km-1 from 750 to 550 hPa, resulting in a maximum wind change of 3˜5 m s-1, a 30˜40% increase, around the top of this layer. The enhancement of the vertical shear in this layer could potentially have an impact on TC genesis and development. The dust-radiation effects also modified the moisture and dust distribution, which can have a feedback (i.e., a secondary effect) on the heating profile and the vertical shear.

  19. Effects of graphene and carbon coating modifications on electrochemical performance of silicon nanoparticle/graphene composite anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Guzman, Rhet C.; Yang, Jinho; Cheng, Mark Ming-Cheng; Salley, Steven O.; Simon Ng, K. Y.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of graphene and C coating modifications on electrochemical performance of silicon nanoparticle (SiNP)/graphene composite anode were investigated. Graphene with varying sheet sizes (238, 160 and 113 nm) were used as an anode material where a cycling performance dependence on the sheet size (edge sites and sheet disorder) was observed. Temperature-dependent N doping of graphene resulted in graphene with N (5.97% w/w) presenting three binding configurations: 72.1% pyridinic N, 22.4% pyrrolic N and 5.5% graphitic N. The nitrided graphene displayed improved cycling capacity and minimized performance decay, principally due to the pyridinic N. Galvanostatic cycling using increasing current density rates (500-2500 mA g-1) of SiNP composites with C coating/deposition showed improvements in both capacity retention and rate performance. A polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based coating scheme was used to produce a N-containing (2.20%) C coating which displayed the best high performance improvements, attributable to the minimization of direct solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation and improvement in the conduction path. Optimization of the methods to achieve the best modification characteristics might enable performance improvements that maximize the capabilities of the materials.

  20. Effects of N-terminus modifications on the conformation and permeation activities of the synthetic peptide L1A.

    PubMed

    Zanin, Luciana Puia Moro; de Araujo, Alexandre Suman; Juliano, Maria Aparecida; Casella, Tiago; Nogueira, Mara Correa Lelles; Ruggiero Neto, João

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the effect of the N-terminus modification of the L1A, a synthetic octadecapeptide, on its helical content, affinity and lytic action in model membranes and on its hemolytic and antibacterial activities. L1A and its acetylated analog displayed a selective antibacterial activity to Gram-negative bacteria without being hemolytic. The covalently linked 2-aminobezoic acid to the N-terminus impaired the antibacterial efficacy and increased hemolysis. Despite their lower net charge (+2), N-terminus modifications resulted in enhanced affinity and improved lytic efficiency in anionic vesicles. The analogs also showed higher helical content and consequently higher amphipathicity in these vesicles. The conformational analysis by molecular dynamics simulations in 30 % of TFE/water showed that the hydrophobic faces of the peptides are in close contact with CF3 groups of TFE while the hydrophilic faces with water molecules. Due to the loss of the amino charge, the N-termini of the analogs are buried in TFE molecules. The analysis of the pair distribution functions, obtained for the center of mass of the charged groups, has evidenced that the state of the N-terminus has influenced the possibility of different ion-pairing. The higher complexity of the bacterial cells compared with anionic vesicles hampers to establish correlations structure-function for the analogs. PMID:26920749

  1. Effect of nanodiamond modification of siloxane surfaces on stem cell behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keremidarska, M.; Hikov, T.; Radeva, E.; Pramatarova, L.; Krasteva, N.

    2014-12-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold a great promise for use in many cell therapies and tissue engineering due to their remarkable potential to replicate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types. Many efforts have been put to study the factors controlling stem cell differentiation. However, still little knowledge has been gained to what extent biomaterials properties influence stem cell adhesion, growth and differentiation. Research utilizing bone marrow-derived MSCs has concentrated on development of specific materials which can enhance specific differentiation of stem cells e.g. osteogenic and chondrogenic. In the present work we have modified an organosilane, hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDS) with detonation nanodiamond (DND) particles aiming to improve adhesion, growth and osteodifferentiation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. HMDS/DND films were deposited on cover glass using two approaches: premixing of both compounds, followed by plasma polymerization (PP) and PP of HMDS followed by plasma deposition of DND particles. We did not observe however an increase in rMSCs adhesion and growth on DND-modified PPHMDS surfaces compared to unmodified PPHMDS. When we studied alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, which is a major sign for early osteodifferentiation, we found the highest ALP activity on the PPHMDS/DND material, prepared by consequent deposition while on the other composite material ALP activity was the lowest. These results suggested that DND-modified materials were able to control osteodifferention in MSCs depending on the deposition approach. Modification of HMDS with DND particles by consequent plasma deposition seems to be a promising approach to produce biomaterials capable to guide stem cell differentiation toward osteoblasts and thus to be used in bone tissue engineering.

  2. PDV modifications.

    SciTech Connect

    Dolan, Daniel H., III

    2010-09-01

    External modifications can transform a conventional photonic doppler velocimetry (PDV) system to other useful configurations - Non-standard probes and Frequency-conversion measurements. This approach is easier than supporting every conceivable measurement in the core PDV design. Circulator specifications may be important - -30 dB isolation (common) probably not be enough, -50 dB isolation is available, and some bench testing may be needed.

  3. Coping with confounds in multivoxel pattern analysis: what should we do about reaction time differences? A comment on Todd, Nystrom & Cohen 2013.

    PubMed

    Woolgar, Alexandra; Golland, Polina; Bode, Stefan

    2014-09-01

    Multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) is a sensitive and increasingly popular method for examining differences between neural activation patterns that cannot be detected using classical mass-univariate analysis. Recently, Todd et al. ("Confounds in multivariate pattern analysis: Theory and rule representation case study", 2013, NeuroImage 77: 157-165) highlighted a potential problem for these methods: high sensitivity to confounds at the level of individual participants due to the use of directionless summary statistics. Unlike traditional mass-univariate analyses where confounding activation differences in opposite directions tend to approximately average out at group level, group level MVPA results may be driven by any activation differences that can be discriminated in individual participants. In Todd et al.'s empirical data, factoring out differences in reaction time (RT) reduced a classifier's ability to distinguish patterns of activation pertaining to two task rules. This raises two significant questions for the field: to what extent have previous multivoxel discriminations in the literature been driven by RT differences, and by what methods should future studies take RT and other confounds into account? We build on the work of Todd et al. and compare two different approaches to remove the effect of RT in MVPA. We show that in our empirical data, in contrast to that of Todd et al., the effect of RT on rule decoding is negligible, and results were not affected by the specific details of RT modelling. We discuss the meaning of and sensitivity for confounds in traditional and multivoxel approaches to fMRI analysis. We observe that the increased sensitivity of MVPA comes at a price of reduced specificity, meaning that these methods in particular call for careful consideration of what differs between our conditions of interest. We conclude that the additional complexity of the experimental design, analysis and interpretation needed for MVPA is still not a reason to

  4. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Kunihiro; Makino, Hirofumi; Iseki, Kunitoshi; Ito, Sadayoshi; Kimura, Kenjiro; Kusano, Eiji; Shibata, Takanori; Tomita, Kimio; Narita, Ichiei; Nishino, Tomoya; Fujigaki, Yoshihide; Mitarai, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Wada, Takashi; Nakamura, Teiji; Matsuo, Seiichi

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs) and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD. Design Stratified open cluster-randomized trial. Setting A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters) in Japan. Participants A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention) and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention)) aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs. Intervention All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice. Main outcome measure The primary outcome measures were 1) the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2) the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3) the progression of CKD. Results The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01). Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (p<0.01). The average eGFR deterioration rate tended to be lower in group B (group A: 2.6±5.8 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 2.4±5.1 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.07). A significant difference in eGFR deterioration rate was observed in subjects with Stage 3 CKD (group A: 2.4±5.9 ml

  5. Analysis of the Effect of Surface Modification on Polyimide Composites Coated with Erosion Resistant Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ndalama, Tchinga; Hirschfeld, Deidre; Sutter, James K. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this research is to enhance performance of composite coatings through modification of graphite-reinforced polyimide composite surfaces prior to metal bond coat/ hard topcoat application for use in the erosive and/or oxidative environments of advanced engines. Graphite reinforced polyimide composites, PMR-15 and PMR-II-50, formed by sheet molding and pre-pregging will be surface treated, overlaid with a bond coat and then coated with WC-Co. The surface treatment will include cleaning, RF plasma or ultraviolet light- ozone etching, and deposition of SiO(x) groups. These surface treatments will be studied in order to investigate and improve adhesion and oxidation resistance. The following panels were provided by NASA-Glenn Research Center(NASA-GRC): Eight compression molded PMR-II-50; 6 x 6 x 0.125 in. Two vacuum-bagged PMR-II-50; 12 x 12 x 0.125 in. Eight compression molded PMR-15; 6 x 6 x 0.125 in. One vacuum-bagged PMR-15; 12 x 12 x 0.125 in. All panels were made using a 12 x 12 in. T650-35 8HS (3K-tow) graphite fabric. A diamond-wafering blade, with deionized water as a cutting fluid, was used to cut PMR-II-50 and PMR-15 panels into 1 x 1 in. pieces for surface tests. The panel edges exhibiting delamination were used for the preliminary surface preparation tests as these would be unsuitable for strength and erosion testing. PMR-15 neat resin samples were also provided by NASA GRC. Surface profiles of the as-received samples were determined using a Dektak III Surface profile measuring system. Two samples of compression molded PMR-II-50 and PMR-15, vacuum-bagged PMR-II-50 and PMR-15 were randomly chosen for surface profile measurement according to ANSI/ASME B46.1. Prior to each measurement, the samples were blasted with compressed air to remove any artifacts. Five 10 mm-long scans were made on each sample. The short and long wavelength cutoff filter values were set at 100 and 1000 m, diamond stylus radius was 12.5 microns. Table 1 is a summary of the

  6. Confounds in Assessing the Associations between Biliteracy and English Language Proficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Proctor, C. Patrick; Silverman, Rebecca D.

    2011-01-01

    It has long been theorized, if not exhaustively researched, that bilingualism and biliteracy are beneficial in promoting linguistic and academic gains; but the operationalization of these constructs is confounding. In the current study, the authors worked with 118 Spanish-English bilingual Latina/o students and investigated whether Spanish-English…

  7. High Levels of Sample-to-Sample Variation Confound Data Analysis for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening of Fetal Microdeletions.

    PubMed

    Chu, Tianjiao; Yeniterzi, Suveyda; Yatsenko, Svetlana A; Dunkel, Mary; Shaw, Patricia A; Bunce, Kimberly D; Peters, David G

    2016-01-01

    Our goal was to test the hypothesis that inter-individual genomic copy number variation in control samples is a confounding factor in the non-invasive prenatal detection of fetal microdeletions via the sequence-based analysis of maternal plasma DNA. The database of genomic variants (DGV) was used to determine the "Genomic Variants Frequency" (GVF) for each 50kb region in the human genome. Whole genome sequencing of fifteen karyotypically normal maternal plasma and six CVS DNA controls samples was performed. The coefficient of variation of relative read counts (cv.RTC) for these samples was determined for each 50kb region. Maternal plasma from two pregnancies affected with a chromosome 5p microdeletion was also sequenced, and analyzed using the GCREM algorithm. We found strong correlation between high variance in read counts and GVF amongst controls. Consequently we were unable to confirm the presence of the microdeletion via sequencing of maternal plasma samples obtained from two sequential affected pregnancies. Caution should be exercised when performing NIPT for microdeletions. It is vital to develop our understanding of the factors that impact the sensitivity and specificity of these approaches. In particular, benign copy number variation amongst controls is a major confounder, and their effects should be corrected bioinformatically. PMID:27249650

  8. High Levels of Sample-to-Sample Variation Confound Data Analysis for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening of Fetal Microdeletions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Tianjiao; Yeniterzi, Suveyda; Yatsenko, Svetlana A.; Dunkel, Mary; Shaw, Patricia A.; Bunce, Kimberly D.; Peters, David G.

    2016-01-01

    Our goal was to test the hypothesis that inter-individual genomic copy number variation in control samples is a confounding factor in the non-invasive prenatal detection of fetal microdeletions via the sequence-based analysis of maternal plasma DNA. The database of genomic variants (DGV) was used to determine the “Genomic Variants Frequency” (GVF) for each 50kb region in the human genome. Whole genome sequencing of fifteen karyotypically normal maternal plasma and six CVS DNA controls samples was performed. The coefficient of variation of relative read counts (cv.RTC) for these samples was determined for each 50kb region. Maternal plasma from two pregnancies affected with a chromosome 5p microdeletion was also sequenced, and analyzed using the GCREM algorithm. We found strong correlation between high variance in read counts and GVF amongst controls. Consequently we were unable to confirm the presence of the microdeletion via sequencing of maternal plasma samples obtained from two sequential affected pregnancies. Caution should be exercised when performing NIPT for microdeletions. It is vital to develop our understanding of the factors that impact the sensitivity and specificity of these approaches. In particular, benign copy number variation amongst controls is a major confounder, and their effects should be corrected bioinformatically. PMID:27249650

  9. Comorbidity of intellectual disability confounds ascertainment of autism: implications for genetic diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Polyak, Andrew; Kubina, Richard M; Girirajan, Santhosh

    2015-10-01

    While recent studies suggest a converging role for genetic factors towards risk for nosologically distinct disorders including autism, intellectual disability (ID), and epilepsy, current estimates of autism prevalence fail to take into account the impact of comorbidity of these disorders on autism diagnosis. We aimed to assess the effect of comorbidity on the diagnosis and prevalence of autism by analyzing 11 years (2000-2010) of special education enrollment data on approximately 6.2 million children per year. We found a 331% increase in the prevalence of autism from 2000 to 2010 within special education, potentially due to a diagnostic recategorization from frequently comorbid features such as ID. The decrease in ID prevalence equaled an average of 64.2% of the increase of autism prevalence for children aged 3-18 years. The proportion of ID cases potentially undergoing recategorization to autism was higher (P = 0.007) among older children (75%) than younger children (48%). Some US states showed significant negative correlations between the prevalence of autism compared to that of ID while others did not, suggesting state-specific health policy to be a major factor in categorizing autism. Further, a high frequency of autistic features was observed when individuals with classically defined genetic syndromes were evaluated for autism using standardized instruments. Our results suggest that current ascertainment practices are based on a single facet of autism-specific clinical features and do not consider associated comorbidities that may confound diagnosis. Longitudinal studies with detailed phenotyping and deep molecular genetic analyses are necessary to completely understand the cause of this complex disorder. PMID:26198689

  10. Boundary layer modification by means of wall suction and the effect on the wake behind a rectangular forebody

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trip, Renzo; Fransson, Jens H. M.

    2014-12-01

    The wake characteristics of a two-dimensional rectangular forebody with a smooth leading edge and a blunt trailing edge are investigated. Wall suction is applied along the forebody in order to modify the developing boundary layer. An initially laminar boundary layer subject to suction yields an asymptotic suction boundary layer at the trailing edge of the body, whereas a high enough suction coefficient relaminarizes an initially turbulent boundary layer. The critical suction velocity required to achieve this significant modification of the boundary layer properties is typically in the order of 1% of the free-stream velocity, where the critical suction coefficient depends on the Reynolds number. We show that a thinner boundary layer induces a higher vortex shedding frequency and a lower base pressure. Furthermore, the boundary layer state, laminar or turbulent, has a significant influence on the wake. For example, the Strouhal number based on the effective body thickness is being reduced by 25% from laminar to turbulent inlet conditions.

  11. Imaging nanostructural modifications induced by electronic metal-support interaction effects at Au||cerium-based oxide nanointerfaces.

    PubMed

    López-Haro, Miguel; Cíes, José M; Trasobares, Susana; Pérez-Omil, José A; Delgado, Juan J; Bernal, Serafín; Bayle-Guillemaud, Pascale; Stéphan, Odile; Yoshida, Kenta; Boyes, Edward D; Gai, Pratibha L; Calvino, José J

    2012-08-28

    A variety of advanced (scanning) transmission electron microscopy experiments, carried out in aberration-corrected equipment, provide direct evidence about subtle structural changes taking place at nanometer-sized Au||ceria oxide interfaces, which agrees with the occurrence of charge transfer effects between the reduced support and supported gold nanoparticles suggested by macroscopic techniques. Tighter binding of the gold nanoparticles onto the ceria oxide support when this is reduced is revealed by the structural analysis. This structural modification is accompanied by parallel deactivation of the CO chemisorption capacity of the gold nanoparticles, which is interpreted in exact quantitative terms as due to deactivation of the gold atoms at the perimeter of the Au||cerium oxide interface. PMID:22789638

  12. Effect of strontium modification on near-threshold fatigue crack growth in an Al-Si-Cu die cast alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Schaefer, M.; Fournelle, R.A.

    1996-05-01

    The effects of strontium modification on microstructure and fatigue properties in a die cast commercial aluminum-silicon alloy are demonstrated. Strontium additions of 0.010 and 0.018 wt pct drastically change the morphology of the eutectic silicon. The influence of these microstructural changes on fatigue properties is evaluated through fatigue crack growth testing. Examination of the fracture surfaces and the crack path establish distinct fatigue fracture modes for the modified and unmodified eutectic structures. Changes in fracture mode and crack path are correlated to the microstructure changes. A higher energy fracture mode and increased crack path tortuosity explain the observed improvement in fatigue properties for the modified alloys. Strontium modified alloys exhibit a 10 to 20 pct higher fatigue crack growth threshold compared to an unmodified alloy for testing at a load ratio of 0.5. No difference was observed for testing at a load ratio of 0.1.

  13. Modification of digestive system microbiome of lactating dairy cows by feeding Bovamine: effect on ruminal fermentation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated the immune modulatory effects as well as effects on productivity of Bovamine® (Lactobacillus acidophilus strain NP51 and Probionibacterium freudenreichii) on the digestive system microbiome of dairy cattle during late lactation (average DIM = 202). To unveil the underlying mechanisms, ...

  14. Effects of nootropics on the EEG in conscious rats and their modification by glutamatergic inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Vorobyov, Vasily; Kaptsov, Vladimir; Kovalev, Georgy; Sengpiel, Frank

    2011-05-30

    To study the effects of acute and repeated injections of nootropics and to learn how glutamate receptors might be involved in their mediation, the frequency spectra of cortical and hippocampal electroencephalogram (EEG) were analyzed in non-narcotized rats subcutaneously injected repeatedly with Piracetam (400mg/kg) or its analogue, Noopept (0.2mg/kg), after intracerebroventricular infusions of saline (5 μl) or the antagonists of NMDA and quisqualate/AMPA receptors: CPP (0.1 nmol) and GDEE (1 μmol), respectively. Piracetam increased alpha/beta1 EEG activity in the left frontal cortex, and alpha activity in both the right cortex and hippocampus, with a 10-min latency and 40-min duration. Noopept increased alpha/beta1 activity, with 30-min latency and 40-min duration in all brain areas. CPP pretreatment eliminated Piracetam EEG effects; reduced Noopept effects in the cortex and completely suppressed them in the hippocampus. After four injections of Piracetam, EEG effects were very small in the cortex, and completely lacking in the hippocampus, while GDEE pretreatment partially recovered them. The effect of Noopept in the alpha/beta1 ranges was replaced by increased beta2 activity after the eighth injection, while no effects were observed after the ninth one. GDEE pretreatment restored the effect of Noopept in the beta2 frequency range. These results demonstrate similarities in EEG effects and their mediatory mechanisms for Piracetam and its much more effective analogue, Noopept. Activation of NMDA receptors is involved in the effects of a single injection of the nootropics, whereas activation of quisqualate/AMPA receptors is associated with the decrease in their efficacy after repeated use. PMID:21414388

  15. Evaluation of "Payne effect" in radiation-induced modification of chlorobutyl rubber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scagliusi, S. R.; Cardoso, E. C. L.; Parra, D. F.; Lima, L. F. C. P.; Lugão, A. B.

    2013-03-01

    The major effect of high energy photon, such as gamma rays, in organic polymers is the generation of free radicals, causing changes in electrical, optical and mechanical properties. This work aims to the study of a controlled degradation of a chlorobutyl rubber compound after irradiation at: 25, 100 and 200 kGy doses. Effects of irradiation on a rubber compound were investigated via DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis) tests using the so-called Payne effect, which is directly related to the dynamic properties of the vulcanized rubber. The test begins in a low strain excitation upwards to a maximum programmed strain, and then downwards to a minimum strain at room temperature. The dependency of the material related to the strain amplitude is illustrated by Payne effect. Material behavior presents a non linear evolution on both modulus and Tan when increasing the strain (Payne effect). A difference on G' and tangent δ values at low strain can be observed between the sweeping ways up and down. The difference between new and irradiated material at 25 kGy dose material is not very significant. Nevertheless, the chain scission for higher irradiation doses (≥25 kGy) is verified, as observed by Payne effect. Another interest in strain sweep is to facilitate the detection of strong breaking in materials linkage at high strain amplitude as illustrated by Mullins effect.

  16. Effect measure modification of blood lead-air lead slope factors.

    PubMed

    Richmond-Bryant, Jennifer; Meng, Qingyu; Cohen, Jonathan; Davis, J Allen; Svendsgaard, David; Brown, James S; Tuttle, Lauren; Hubbard, Heidi; Rice, Joann; Kirrane, Ellen; Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa; Kotchmar, Dennis; Hines, Erin; Ross, Mary

    2015-01-01

    There is abundant literature finding that susceptibility factors, including race and ethnicity, age, and housing, directly influence blood lead levels. No study has explored how susceptibility factors influence the blood lead-air lead relationship nationally. The objective is to evaluate whether susceptibility factors act as effect measure modifiers on the blood lead-air lead relationship. Participant level blood lead data from the 1999 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were merged with air lead data from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Linear mixed effects models were run with and without an air lead interaction term for age group, sex, housing age, or race/ethnicity to determine whether these factors are effect measure modifiers for all ages combined and for five age brackets. Age group and race/ethnicity were determined to be effect measure modifiers in the all-age model and for some age groups. Being a child (1-5, 6-11, and 12-19 years) or of Mexican-American ethnicity increased the effect estimate. Living in older housing (built before 1950) decreased the effect estimate for all models except for the 1-5-year group, where older housing was an effect measure modifier. These results are consistent with the peer-reviewed literature of time-activity patterns, ventilation, and toxicokinetics. PMID:24961837

  17. Effects due to nonlinear modification of driven current on tearing mode stabilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Ge; Reiman, Allan; Fisch, Nathaniel

    2015-11-01

    Neoclassical tearing modes (NTMs) can be destabilized by a helical perturbation in the boostrap current, and can result in large magnetic islands which are detrimental to confinement in toroidal plasma devices. NTM stability properties and dynamics can be strongly affected by current drive in various scenarios. The modified Rutherford equation is generally used to calculate the contributions from the current drive, without considering the self- consistent change in the driven current associated with the nonlinear effects. In this study, we evaluated the importance of such nonlinear effects as the effect of the change in Te on the current drive efficiency, and the nonlinear interaction of the current drive and the electric field.

  18. Prediction of effects of wing contour modifications on low-speed maximum lift and transonic performance for the EA-6B aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allison, Dennis O.; Waggoner, E. G.

    1990-01-01

    Computational predictions of the effects of wing contour modifications on maximum lift and transonic performance were made and verified against low speed and transonic wind tunnel data. This effort was part of a program to improve the maneuvering capability of the EA-6B electronics countermeasures aircraft, which evolved from the A-6 attack aircraft. The predictions were based on results from three computer codes which all include viscous effects: MCARF, a 2-D subsonic panel code; TAWFIVE, a transonic full potential code; and WBPPW, a transonic small disturbance potential flow code. The modifications were previously designed with the aid of these and other codes. The wing modifications consists of contour changes to the leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps and were designed for increased maximum lift with minimum effect on transonic performance. The prediction of the effects of the modifications are presented, with emphasis on verification through comparisons with wind tunnel data from the National Transonic Facility. Attention is focused on increments in low speed maximum lift and increments in transonic lift, pitching moment, and drag resulting from the contour modifications.

  19. Modification of {Delta}{sup Prime} by magnetic feedback and kinetic effects

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yueqiang; Hastie, R. J.; Hender, T. C.

    2012-09-15

    Two possible ways of modifying the linear tearing mode index, by active magnetic feedback and by drift kinetic effects of deeply trapped particles, are analytically investigated. Magnetic feedback schemes, studied in this work, are found generally stabilizing for {Delta}{sup Prime }. The drift kinetic effects from both thermal particles and hot ions tend to reduce the power of the large solution from the outer region. This generally leads to a destabilization of {Delta} Prime for the toroidal analytic equilibria considered here.

  20. Issues in risk assessment and modifications of the NRC health effects models

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, E.S.

    1992-07-02

    A report, Health Effects Models for Nuclear Power Plant Accident Consequence Analysis, was published by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in 1985, and revised in 1989. These reports provided models for estimating health effects that would be expected to result from the radiation exposure received in a nuclear reactor accident. Separate models were given for early occurring effects, late somatic effects, and genetic effects; however, this paper addresses only late somatic effects, or the risk of cancer expected to occur in the lifetimes of exposed individuals. The 1989 revision was prepared prior to the publication of the BEIR V, 1988 UNSCEAR, and ICRP 60 reports. For this reason, an addendum was needed that would provide modified risk models that took into account these recent reports, and, more generally, any new evidence that had appeared since the 1989 publication. Of special importance was consideration of updated analyses of the Japanese A-bomb survivor study data based on revised DS86 dosimetry. The process of preparing the addendum required thorough review and evaluation of the models used by the BEIR V, UNSCEAR, and ICRP committees, and also required thorough consideration of the various decisions that must be made in any risk assessment effort. This paper emphasizes general issues and problems that arise in risk assessment, and also indicates areas where additional development and application of statistical methods may be fruitful.

  1. Outdoor Temperature, Heart Rate and Blood Pressure in Chinese Adults: Effect Modification by Individual Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Madaniyazi, Lina; Zhou, Yong; Li, Shanshan; Williams, Gail; Jaakkola, Jouni J.K.; Liang, Xin; Liu, Yan; Wu, Shouling; Guo, Yuming

    2016-01-01

    We collected data from Kailuan cohort study from 2006 to 2011 to examine whether short-term effects of ambient temperature on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) are non-linear or linear, and their potential modifying factors. The HR, BP and individual information, including basic characteristics, life style, socio-economic characteristics and other characteristics, were collected for each participant. Daily mean temperature and relative humidity were collected. A regression model was used to evaluate associations of temperature with HR and BP, with a non-linear function for temperature. We also stratified the analyses in different groups divided by individual characteristics. 47,591 residents were recruited. The relationships of temperature with HR and BP were “V” shaped with thresholds ranging from 22 °C to 28 °C. Both cold and hot effects were observed on HR and BP. The differences of effect estimates were observed among the strata of individual characteristics. The effect estimate of temperature was higher among older people. The cold effect estimate was higher among people with lower Body Mass Index. However, the differences of effect estimates among other groups were inconsistent. These findings suggest both cold and hot temperatures may have short-term impacts on HR and BP. The individual characteristics could modify these relationships. PMID:26876040

  2. Estimating the monetary value of willingness to pay for E-book reader's attributes using partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yong, Chin-Khian

    2013-09-01

    A partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiments design was used to examine the monetary value of the willingness to pay for E-book Reader's attributes. Conjoint analysis is an efficient, cost-effective, and most widely used quantitative method in marketing research to understand consumer preferences and value trade-off. Value can be interpreted by customer or consumer as the received of multiple benefits from a price that was paid. The monetary value of willingness to pay for battery life, internal memory, external memory, screen size, text to Speech, touch screen, and converting handwriting to digital text of E-book reader were estimated in this study. Due to the significant interaction effect of the attributes with the price, the monetary values for the seven attributes were found to be different at different values of odds of purchasing versus not purchasing. The significant interactions effects were one of the main contribution of the partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiment.

  3. Modification of certain pharmacological effects of ethanol by lipophilic alpha-1 adrenergic agonists

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, M.K.; Dinovo, E.C.; Haddox, V.G.

    1987-09-28

    The influence of four centrally-acting alpha-1 adrenoceptor agonists, namely, 2(2-chloro-5-trifluoromethylphenylimino) imidazolidine (St 587), cirazoline, (-) 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-8-methoxy-5-methylthio-2-naphthalenamine ((-)SKF 89748A) and 2-(2-methylindazol-4-imino)imidazolidine (Sgd 101/75) on the pharmacological effects of ethanol was investigated. All four drugs reduced the duration of ethanol-induced hypnosis in C57B1/6 mice, this effect being proportional to their relative potencies to exert central alpha-1 agonism. In prazosin-pretreated mice, St 587 failed to reduce the hypnotic effect of ethanol, which provided strong evidence for the role of alpha-1 agonism for the hypnosis reducing effect of St 587. Hyperactivity induced in C57B1/6 mice by a subhypnotic dose of ethanol and St 587 was reported earlier. In the present study, St 587, cirazoline and (-)SKF 89748A produced similar response, but no correlation between this effect and ethanol hypnosis blockade could be established. 19 references, 8 figures, 2 tables.

  4. Modification of neurobehavioral effects of mercury by genetic polymorphisms of metallothionein in children.

    PubMed

    Woods, James S; Heyer, Nicholas J; Russo, Joan E; Martin, Michael D; Pillai, Pradeep B; Farin, Federico M

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is neurotoxic, and children may be particularly susceptible to this effect. A current major challenge is the identification of children who may be uniquely susceptible to Hg toxicity because of genetic disposition. We examined the hypothesis that genetic variants of metallothionein (MT) that are reported to affect Hg toxicokinetics in adults would modify the neurotoxic effects of Hg in children. Five hundred seven children, 8-12 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of Hg from dental amalgam tooth fillings. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at 7 subsequent annual intervals for neurobehavioral performance and urinary Hg levels. Following the completion of the clinical trial, we performed genotyping assays for variants of MT isoforms MT1M (rs2270837) and MT2A (rs10636) on biological samples provided by 330 of the trial participants. Regression modeling strategies were employed to evaluate associations between allelic status, Hg exposure, and neurobehavioral test outcomes. Among girls, few significant interactions or independent main effects for Hg exposure and either of the MT gene variants were observed. In contrast, among boys, numerous significant interaction effects between variants of MT1M and MT2A, alone and combined, with Hg exposure were observed spanning multiple domains of neurobehavioral function. All dose-response associations between Hg exposure and test performance were restricted to boys and were in the direction of impaired performance. These findings suggest increased susceptibility to the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg among children with relatively common genetic variants of MT, and may have important public health implications for future strategies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the potential health risks associated with Hg exposure. We note that because urinary Hg reflects a composite exposure index that cannot be attributed to a specific

  5. MODIFICATION OF NEUROBEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF MERCURY BY GENETIC POLYMORPHISMS OF METALLOTHIONEIN IN CHILDREN

    PubMed Central

    Woods, James S.; Heyer, Nicholas J.; Russo, Joan E.; Martin, Michael D.; Pillai, Pradeep B.; Farin, Federico M.

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is neurotoxic, and children may be particularly susceptible to this effect. A current major challenge is the identification of children who may be uniquely susceptible to Hg toxicity because of genetic disposition. We examined the hypothesis that genetic variants of metallothionein (MT) that are reported to affect Hg toxicokinetics in adults would modify the neurotoxic effects of Hg in children. Five hundred seven children, 8–12 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of Hg from dental amalgam tooth fillings. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at 7 subsequent annual intervals for neurobehavioral performance and urinary Hg levels. Following the completion of the clinical trial, we performed genotyping assays for variants of MT isoforms MT1M (rs2270837) and MT2A (rs10636) on biological samples provided by 330 of the trial participants. Regression modeling strategies were employed to evaluate associations between allelic status, Hg exposure, and neurobehavioral test outcomes. Among girls, few significant interactions or independent main effects for Hg exposure and either of the MT gene variants were observed. In contrast, among boys, numerous significant interaction effects between variants of MT1M and MT2A, alone and combined, with Hg exposure were observed spanning multiple domains of neurobehavioral function. All dose-response associations between Hg exposure and test performance were restricted to boys and were in the direction of impaired performance. These findings suggest increased susceptibility to the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg among children with relatively common genetic variants of MT, and may have important public health implications for future strategies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the potential health risks associated with Hg exposure. We note that because urinary Hg reflects a composite exposure index that cannot be attributed to a specific

  6. Radiation graft modification of ethylene-propylene rubber—II. Effect of additives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haddadi-Asl, V.; Burford, R. P.; Garnett, J. L.

    1995-02-01

    The effect of multifunctional acrylic additives including TMPTA, PEGDA and PGTA on the radiation grafting of hydrophilic vinyl monomers onto ethylene—propylene elastomer (EPM rubbers) was studied. This work centres upon gamma irradiation-induced grafting of acrylamide (AAm), N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP), 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and acrylonitrile (AN) onto EPM rubber by the simultaneous method. Water proved to be an effective solvent but methanol lowered grafting. Sulphuric acid was detrimental to both homopolymerisation and grafting, a result consistent with the theory proposed for the role of this additive in polymer grafting systems.

  7. Evaluation of vegetation effects on the generation and modification of mesoscale circulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Segal, M.; Avissar, R.; Pielke, R. A.; Mccumber, M. C.

    1988-01-01

    The effects of the presence of vegetation cover on modifying sea breeze and thermally induced upslope flows during daytime were investigated, and the possibility of the generation of mesoscale circulations due to nonuniform vegetation cover was evaluated. Scale analysis and numerical model simulations were used to provide quantitative evaluations of the circulations involved in the two vagetation effects, using several illustrative cases. The cases considered demonstrate that the impact of vegetated surfaces is highly dependent on the environmental conditions as well as vegetation characteristics.

  8. Effects of roasting temperature and modification on properties of Li 2FeSiO 4/C cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Li-ming; Guo, Hua-jun; Li, Xin-hai; Wang, Zhi-xing; Peng, Wen-jie; Xiang, Kai-xiong; Cao, Xuan

    Li 2FeSiO 4/C cathodes were synthesized by combination of wet-process method and solid-state reaction at high temperature, and effects of roasting temperature and modification on properties of the Li 2FeSiO 4/C cathode were investigated. The XRD patterns of the Li 2FeSiO 4/C samples indicate that all the samples are of good crystallinity, and a little Fe 3O 4 impurity was observed in them. The primary particle size rises as the roasting temperature increases from 600 to 750 °C. The Li 2FeSiO 4/C sample synthesized at 650 °C has good electrochemical performances with an initial discharge capacity of 144.9 mAh g -1 and the discharge capacity remains 136.5 mAh g -1 after 10 cycles. The performance of Li 2FeSiO 4/C cathode is further improved by modification of Ni substitution. The Li 2Fe 0.9Ni 0.1SiO 4/C composite cathode has an initial discharge capacity of 160.1 mAh g -1, and the discharge capacity remains 153.9 mAh g -1 after 10 cycles. The diffusion coefficient of lithium in Li 2FeSiO 4/C is 1.38 × 10 -12 cm 2 s -1 while that in Li 2Fe 0.9Ni 0.1SiO 4/C reaches 3.34 × 10 -12 cm 2 s -1.

  9. Variable Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (VDRO): Its Effectiveness as a Modification Procedure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reuter, Katherine E.; LeBlanc, Judith M.

    Two groups of five preschool children were trained to press a key for marbles for four sessions of variable ratio reinforcement (VR6). Subsequently, response decrement for the groups was compared during conditions of fixed and variable differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO and VDRO). Fixed DRO was more effective for decreasing response…

  10. Modification of radiobiological effects of 171 MeV protons by elements of physical protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulinina, Taisia; Shurshakov, Vyacheslav; Ivanov, Alexander; Molokanov, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    Space radiation includes protons of various energies. Physical protection is effective in the case of low energy protons (50-100 MeV) and becomes insufficient for radiation with a high part of high-energy protons. In the experiment performed on outbred mice, the purpose of the study was to evaluate the radiobiological effect of 171 MeV protons and protons modified by elements of physical protection of the spacecraft, on a complex of indicators of the functional condition of the system hematopoiesis and the central nervous system in 24 hours after irradiation at 20 cGy dose. The spacecraft radiation protection elements used in the experiment were a construction of wet hygiene wipes called a «protective curtain», and a glass plate imitating an ISS window. Mass thickness of the " protective curtain" in terms of water equivalent was ̴ 6,2 g/cm2. Physical shielding along the path of 171 MeV protons increases their linear energy transfer leading to the absorbed dose elevation and strengthening of the radiobiological effect. In the experiment, the two types of shielding together raised the absorbed dose from 20 to 23.2 cGy. Chemically different materials (glass and water in the wipes) were found to exert unequal modifying effects on physical and biological parameters of the proton-irradiated mice. There was a distinct dose-dependent reduction of bone marrow cellularity within the dose range from 20 cGy to 23.2 cGy in 24 hours after exposure. No modifying effect of the radiation protection elements on spontaneous motor activity was discovered when compared with entrance protons. The group of animals protected by the glass plate exhibited normal orientative-trying reactions and weakened grip with the forelimbs. The effects observed in the experiment indicate the necessity to carry out comprehensive radiobiological researches (physical, biological and mathematical) in assessing the effects of physical protection, that are actual for ensuring radiation safety of crews in

  11. Propensity Score-Based Approaches to Confounding by Indication in Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis: Non-Standardized Treatment for Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Gregory J.; Benedetti, Andrea; Mitnick, Carole D.; Pai, Madhukar; Menzies, Dick

    2016-01-01

    Background In the absence of randomized clinical trials, meta-analysis of individual patient data (IPD) from observational studies may provide the most accurate effect estimates for an intervention. However, confounding by indication remains an important concern that can be addressed by incorporating individual patient covariates in different ways. We compared different analytic approaches to account for confounding in IPD from patients treated for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Methods Two antibiotic classes were evaluated, fluoroquinolones—considered the cornerstone of effective MDR-TB treatment—and macrolides, which are known to be safe, yet are ineffective in vitro. The primary outcome was treatment success against treatment failure, relapse or death. Effect estimates were obtained using multivariable and propensity-score based approaches. Results Fluoroquinolone antibiotics were used in 28 included studies, within which 6,612 patients received a fluoroquinolone and 723 patients did not. Macrolides were used in 15 included studies, within which 459 patients received this class of antibiotics and 3,670 did not. Both standard multivariable regression and propensity score-based methods resulted in similar effect estimates for early and late generation fluoroquinolones, while macrolide antibiotics use was associated with reduced treatment success. Conclusions In this individual patient data meta-analysis, standard multivariable and propensity-score based methods of adjusting for individual patient covariates for observational studies yielded produced similar effect estimates. Even when adjustment is made for potential confounding, interpretation of adjusted estimates must still consider the potential for residual bias. PMID:27022741

  12. Effectiveness of a Group Support Lifestyle Modification (GSLiM) Programme among Obese Adults in Workplace: A Randomised Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Azmi Mohamed, Mohd Nahar; Mukhtar, Firdaus

    2016-01-01

    Background There was an increasing trend in the prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities over the past decades in Malaysia. Effective intervention for obesity remains limited. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a group based lifestyle modification programme amongst obese individuals with an existing dietary counseling programme. Methods We recruited one hundred and ninety four overweight and obese (BMI>27.5 kg/m2) employees from a local university. They were randomly allocated to either Group Support Lifestyle Modification (GSLiM) (intervention)(n = 97) or dietary counseling (comparison)(n = 97). The GSLIM activities included self monitoring, cognitive-behaviour sessions, exercise as well as dietary change advocacy, which were conducted through seminars and group sessions over 24 weeks. The comparison group was given dietary counselling once in 12 weeks. Both groups were followed up for additional 12 weeks to check for intervention effect sustenance. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured at baseline, 12, 24 and 36 weeks; while dietary intake, physical activities, psychological measures and quality of life measured at baseline, 24 and 36 weeks. Data analysis was conducted using ANOVA repeated measures with intention to treat principle. Results The participants were predominantly women with mean (standard deviation) age of 40.5 (9.3) years. A total of 19.6% of the participants in GSLiM achieved 6% weight loss compared to 4.1% in the comparison group (Risk Ratio 4.75; 95% CI: 1.68, 13.45). At 24 weeks, the retention rate was 83.5% for GSLiM and 82.5% for comparison group. GSLiM participants also achieved significant improvement in total weight self-efficacy score, negative emotions and physical discomfort subscales, MDPSS friend subscale and all domains in quality of life. Participants in the comparison group experienced reduction in negative self-thoughts. Conclusion The GSLiM programme proved to be more effective in achieving

  13. Soil acidification as a confounding factor on metal phytotoxicity in soils spiked with copper-rich mine wastes.

    PubMed

    Ginocchio, Rosanna; De la Fuente, Luz María; Sánchez, Pablo; Bustamante, Elena; Silva, Yasna; Urrestarazu, Paola; Rodríguez, Patricio H

    2009-10-01

    Pollution of soil with mine wastes results in both Cu enrichment and soil acidification. This confounding effect may be very important in terms of phytotoxicity, because pH is a key parameter influencing Cu solubility in soil solution. Laboratory toxicity tests were used to assess the effect of acidification by acidic mine wastes on Cu solubility and on root elongation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Three contrasting substrates (two soils and a commercial sand) and two acidic, Cu-rich mine wastes (oxidized tailings [OxT] and smelter dust [SmD]) were selected as experimental materials. Substrates were spiked with a fixed amount of either SmD or OxT, and the pH of experimental mixtures was then modified in the range of 4.0 to 6.0 and 7.0 using PIPES (piperazine-1,4-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid)), MES (2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid), and MOPS (3-(N-Morpholino)-propanesulfonic acid) buffers. Chemical (pore-water Cu and pH) and toxicological (root length of barley plants) parameters were determined for experimental mixtures. Addition of SmD and OxT to substrates resulted in acidification (0.11-1.16 pH units) and high levels of soluble Cu and Zn. Neutralization of experimental mixtures with MES (pH 6.0) and MOPS (pH 7.0) buffers resulted in a marked decrease in soluble Cu and Zn, but the intensity of the effect was substrate-dependent. Adjustment of soil pH above the range normally considered to be toxic to plants (pH in water extract, > 5.5) significantly reduced metal toxicity in barley, but phytotoxicity was not completely eliminated. The present results stress the importance of considering confounding effects on derivation of toxicity thresholds to plants when using laboratory phytotoxicity tests. PMID:19480535

  14. Neuroticism explains unwanted variance in Implicit Association Tests of personality: possible evidence for an affective valence confound

    PubMed Central

    Fleischhauer, Monika; Enge, Sören; Miller, Robert; Strobel, Alexander; Strobel, Anja

    2013-01-01

    Meta-analytic data highlight the value of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as an indirect measure of personality. Based on evidence suggesting that confounding factors such as cognitive abilities contribute to the IAT effect, this study provides a first investigation of whether basic personality traits explain unwanted variance in the IAT. In a gender-balanced sample of 204 volunteers, the Big-Five dimensions were assessed via self-report, peer-report, and IAT. By means of structural equation modeling (SEM), latent Big-Five personality factors (based on self- and peer-report) were estimated and their predictive value for unwanted variance in the IAT was examined. In a first analysis, unwanted variance was defined in the sense of method-specific variance which may result from differences in task demands between the two IAT block conditions and which can be mirrored by the absolute size of the IAT effects. In a second analysis, unwanted variance was examined in a broader sense defined as those systematic variance components in the raw IAT scores that are not explained by the latent implicit personality factors. In contrast to the absolute IAT scores, this also considers biases associated with the direction of IAT effects (i.e., whether they are positive or negative in sign), biases that might result, for example, from the IAT's stimulus or category features. None of the explicit Big-Five factors was predictive for method-specific variance in the IATs (first analysis). However, when considering unwanted variance that goes beyond pure method-specific variance (second analysis), a substantial effect of neuroticism occurred that may have been driven by the affective valence of IAT attribute categories and the facilitated processing of negative stimuli, typically associated with neuroticism. The findings thus point to the necessity of using attribute category labels and stimuli of similar affective valence in personality IATs to avoid confounding due to recoding. PMID

  15. Association of asthma symptoms with peak particulate air pollution and effect modification by anti-inflammatory medication use.

    PubMed Central

    Delfino, Ralph J; Zeiger, Robert S; Seltzer, James M; Street, Donald H; McLaren, Christine E

    2002-01-01

    Maxima of hourly data from outdoor monitors may capture adverse effects of outdoor particulate matter (PM) exposures in asthmatic children better than do 24-hr PM averages, which form the basis of current regulations in the United States. Also, asthmatic children on anti-inflammatory medications may be protected against the proinflammatory effects of air pollutants and aeroallergens. We examined strengths of pollutant associations with asthma symptoms between subgroups of asthmatic children who were on versus not on regularly scheduled anti-inflammatory medications, and tested associations for different particle averaging times. This is a daily panel study of 22 asthmatic children (9-19 years of age) followed March through April 1996 (1,248 person-days). They lived in nonsmoking households in a semirural area of Southern California within the air inversion mixing zone (range, 1,200-2,100 feet) with transported air pollution from urban areas of Southern California. The dependent variable derived from diary ordinal scores is episodes of asthma symptoms that interfered with daily activities. Minimum to 90th-percentile levels of exposures at the outdoor monitoring site were 12-63 microg/m(3) for 1-hr PM < 10 microm in aerodynamic diameter (PM(10)); 8-46 microg/m(3) for 8-hr PM(10); 7-32 microg/m(3) for 24-hr PM(10); 45-88 ppb for 1-hr O(3); 6-26 ppb for 8-hr NO(2); 70-4,714 particles/m(3) for 12-hr daytime fungi; and 12-744 particles/m(3) for 24-hr pollen. Data were analyzed with generalized estimating equations controlling for autocorrelation. There was no confounding by weather, day of week, or linear time trend. Associations were notably stronger in 12 asthmatic children who were not taking anti-inflammatory medications versus 10 subjects who were. Odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for asthma episodes in relation to lag 0 minimum to 90th-percentile pollutant changes were, respectively, 1-hr maximum PM(10), 1.92 (1.22-3.02) versus 0.96 (0.25-3.69); 8-hr maximum

  16. Effect of surface modification, microstructure, and trapping on hydrogen diffusion coefficients in high strength alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jebaraj Johnley Muthuraj, Josiah

    Cathodic protection is widely used for corrosion prevention. However, this process generates hydrogen at the protected metal surface, and diffusion of hydrogen through the metal may cause hydrogen embrittlement or hydrogen induced stress corrosion cracking. Thus the choice of a metal for use as fasteners depends upon its hydrogen uptake, permeation, diffusivity and trapping. The diffusivity of hydrogen through four high strength alloys (AISI 4340, alloy 718, alloy 686, and alloy 59) was analyzed by an electrochemical method developed by Devanathan and Stachurski. The effect of plasma nitriding and microstructure on hydrogen permeation through AISI 4340 was studied on six different specimens: as-received (AR) AISI 4340, nitrided samples with and without compound layer, samples quenched and tempered (Q&T) at 320° and 520°C, and nitrided samples Q&T 520°C. Studies on various nitrided specimens demonstrate that both the gamma'-Fe 4N rich compound surface layer and the deeper N diffusion layer that forms during plasma nitriding reduce the effective hydrogen diffusion coefficient, although the gamma'-Fe4N rich compound layer has a larger effect. Multiple permeation transients yield evidence for the presence of only reversible trap sites in as-received, Q&T 320 and 520 AISI 4340 specimens, and the presence of both reversible and irreversible trap sites in nitrided specimens. Moreover, the changes in microstructure during the quenching and tempering process result in a significant decrease in the diffusion coefficient of hydrogen compared to as-received specimens. In addition, density functional theory-based molecular dynamics simulations yield hydrogen diffusion coefficients through gamma'- Fe4N one order of magnitude lower than through α-Fe, which supports the experimental measurements of hydrogen permeation. The effect of microstructure and trapping was also studied in cold rolled, solutionized, and precipitation hardened Inconel 718 foils. The effective hydrogen

  17. The enhanced SERS effect of Ag/ZnO nanoparticles through surface hydrophobic modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhenjiang; Zhu, Kaixing; Zhao, Qian; Meng, Alan

    2016-07-01

    Ag/ZnO nanocomposites modified by a mixture of stearic acid (SA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were obtained using a heating reflux method. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) suggests that organic SA/PVP was bonded onto the surface of Ag/ZnO nanocrystals, converting the wettability property of the nanostructures from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The modified Ag/ZnO nanostructures were confirmed as effective Raman substrates, with a 3-fold signal enhancement compared to the ordinary hydrophilic Ag/ZnO substrate for detecting Rh B molecules due to the hydrophobic condensation effect. It is expected that the modified Ag/ZnO nanoparticles have potential for SERS-based rapid detection of molecules.

  18. Effects of V-22 Blade Modifications on Whirl Flutter and Loads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acree, C. W., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    A CAMRAD II model of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor was constructed for the purpose of analyzing the effects of blade design changes on whirl flutter. The model incorporated a dual load-path grip/yoke assembly, a swashplate coupled to the transmission case, and a drive train. A multiple-trailer free wake was used for loads calculations. The effects of rotor design changes on whirl-mode stability were calculated for swept blades and offset tip masses. A rotor with swept tips and inboard tuning masses was examined in detail to reveal the mechanisms by which these design changes affect stability and loads. Certain combinations of design features greatly increased whirl-mode stability, with (at worst) moderate increases to loads.

  19. Diabetes and endometrial cancer: effect modification by body weight, physical activity and hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Lucenteforte, E; Bosetti, C; Talamini, R; Montella, M; Zucchetto, A; Pelucchi, C; Franceschi, S; Negri, E; Levi, F; Vecchia, C La

    2007-01-01

    Among 777 endometrial cancer cases and 1550 controls from Italy and Switzerland, odds ratio was 1.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.2–2.5) for diabetes, and 5.1 for obese diabetic women as compared with non-obese non-diabetic ones. Diabetes shows a supramultiplicative effect with body mass index, but not with physical activity or hypertension. PMID:17912243

  20. Modeling of Interfacial Modification Effects on Thermal Conductivity of Carbon Nanotube Composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2006-01-01

    The effect of functionalization of carbon nanotubes on the thermal conductivity of nanocomposites has been studied using a multi-scale modeling approach. These results predict that grafting linear hydrocarbon chains to the surface of a single wall carbon nanotube with covalent chemical bonds should result in a significant increase in the thermal conductivity of these nanocomposites. This is due to the decrease in the interfacial thermal (Kapitza) resistance between the single wall carbon nanotube and the surrounding polymer matrix upon chemical functionalization. The nanocomposites studied here consist of single wall carbon nanotubes in a bulk poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) matrix. The nanotubes are functionalized by end-grafting linear hydrocarbon chains of varying length to the surface of the nanotube. The effect which this functionalization has on the interfacial thermal resistance is studied by molecular dynamics simulation. Interfacial thermal resistance values are calculated for a range of chemical grafting densities and with several chain lengths. These results are subsequently used in an analytical model to predict the resulting effect on the bulk thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite.

  1. The effect of polymer surface modification on polymer-protein interaction via interfacial polymerization and hydrophilic polymer grafting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Protein membrane separation is prone to fouling on the membrane surface resulting from protein adsorption onto the surface. Surface modification of synthetic membranes is one way to reduce fouling. We investigated surface modification of polyethersulfone (PES) as a way of improving hydrophilicity ...

  2. Behavior Modification with Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Daniel G.

    1972-01-01

    The author urges wider use of positive reinforcement theories in helping emotionally disturbed and mentally handicapped children. Underlining the influence of environment on behavior, he also notes that behavior modification programs utilize fewer trained personnel more effectively and, like Tennessee's Re-Education Treatment, allow for therapy in…

  3. Corticosteroid use and bone mineral accretion in children with asthma: effect modification by vitamin D

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Sze Man; Kelly, H. William; Litonjua, Augusto; Van Natta, Mark L.; Weiss, Scott T.; Tantisira, Kelan

    2012-01-01

    Background The adverse effects of corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion (BMA) have been well documented. Vitamin D insufficiency, a prevalent condition in the pediatric population, has also been associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD). Objective To determine whether children with asthma who have lower vitamin D levels are more susceptible to the negative effects of corticosteroids on BMD over time. Methods Children aged 5–12 years with mild-to-moderate asthma who participated in the Childhood Asthma Management Program were followed for a mean of 4.3 years. Total doses of inhaled and oral corticosteroids (OCS) were recorded, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were measured at the beginning of the trial and serial DEXA scans of the lumbar spine were performed. Annual BMA rates were defined as: [(BMD at 4 years follow-up − BMD at baseline)/4 years]. Results BMA was calculated for 780 subjects. In boys, baseline vitamin D levels significantly modified the relationship between OCS and BMA (vitamin D x OCS interaction, p=0.023). Stratification by vitamin D levels showed a decrease in BMA with increased use of OCS in vitamin D insufficient boys only (p<0.001). Compared to vitamin D sufficient boys, vitamin D insufficient boys exposed to more than 2 courses of oral corticosteroids per year had twice the decrease in BMA rate (relative to boys who were OCS-unexposed). Conclusions Vitamin D levels significantly modified the effect of oral corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion in boys. Further research is needed to examine whether vitamin D supplementation in children with poorly controlled asthma may confer benefits to bone health. PMID:22608570

  4. Performance effects of tie-truss modifications for a 70-meter centerline beam waveguide antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cucchissi, J. J.

    1989-01-01

    The elevation-axis tie truss of the 70-m antennas would have to be modified to accommodate a centerline beam waveguide. To accomplish this, the center section of the tie truss has to be altered, causing a change in the tie-truss compliance and affecting structural performance. Even with the center section completely removed, the worst-case rms pathlength error due to gravity load is increased from 0.025 to only 0.030 inches. Using a simple postprocessor technique, the effects of modifying the compliance can be predicted without resorting to multiple and costly re-analyses of large finite-element models on a mainframe computer.

  5. Arsenic exposure, inflammation, and renal function in Bangladeshi adults: effect modification by plasma glutathione redox potential

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Brandilyn A.; Liu, Xinhua; Hall, Megan N.; Ilievski, Vesna; Slavkovich, Vesna; Siddique, Abu B.; Alam, Shafiul; Islam, Tariqul; Graziano, Joseph H.; Gamble, Mary V.

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to arsenic (As) in drinking water is a widespread public health problem leading to increased risk for multiple outcomes such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and possibly renal disease; potential mechanisms include inflammation and oxidative stress. We tested the hypothesis that As exposure is associated with increased inflammation and decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and examined whether the effects of As were modified by plasma glutathione (GSH), glutathione disulfide (GSSG), or the reduction potential of the GSSG/2GSH pair (EhGSH). In a cross-sectional study of N = 374 Bangladeshi adults having a wide range of As exposure, we measured markers of inflammation (plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), α-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP)), renal function (eGFR), GSH, and GSSG. In covariate-adjusted models, a 10% increase in water As, urinary As adjusted for specific gravity (uAs), or blood As (bAs) was associated with a 0.74% (p = 0.01), 0.90% (p = 0.16), and 1.39% (p = 0.07) increase in CRP, respectively; there was no association with AGP. A 10% increase in uAs or bAs was associated with an average reduction in eGFR of 0.16 (p = 0.12) and 0.21 ml/min/1.73 m2 (p = 0.08), respectively. In stratified analyses, the effect of As exposure on CRP was observed only in participants having EhGSH > median (uAs pWald = 0.03; bAs pWald = 0.05). This was primarily driven by stronger effects of As exposure on CRP in participants with lower plasma GSH. The effects of As exposure on eGFR were not modified significantly by EhGSH, GSH, or GSSG. These data suggest that participants having lower plasma GSH and a more oxidized plasma EhGSH are at increased risk for As-induced inflammation. Future studies should evaluate whether antioxidant treatment lowers plasma EhGSH and reduces risk for As-induced diseases. PMID:25916185

  6. A Mixed Modeling Approach to Predict the Effect of Environmental Modification on Species Distributions

    PubMed Central

    Cozzoli, Francesco; Eelkema, Menno; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Ysebaert, Tom; Escaravage, Vincent; Herman, Peter M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Human infrastructures can modify ecosystems, thereby affecting the occurrence and spatial distribution of organisms, as well as ecosystem functionality. Sustainable development requires the ability to predict responses of species to anthropogenic pressures. We investigated the large scale, long term effect of important human alterations of benthic habitats with an integrated approach combining engineering and ecological modelling. We focused our analysis on the Oosterschelde basin (The Netherlands), which was partially embanked by a storm surge barrier (Oosterscheldekering, 1986). We made use of 1) a prognostic (numerical) environmental (hydrodynamic) model and 2) a novel application of quantile regression to Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) to simulate both the realized and potential (habitat suitability) abundance of four macrozoobenthic species: Scoloplos armiger, Peringia ulvae, Cerastoderma edule and Lanice conchilega. The analysis shows that part of the fluctuations in macrozoobenthic biomass stocks during the last decades is related to the effect of the coastal defense infrastructures on the basin morphology and hydrodynamics. The methodological framework we propose is particularly suitable for the analysis of large abundance datasets combined with high-resolution environmental data. Our analysis provides useful information on future changes in ecosystem functionality induced by human activities. PMID:24586545

  7. Biological effects of a root conditioning agent for dentin surface modification in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jue-Yeon; Seol, Yang-Jo; Park, Jang-Ryul; Park, Yoon-Jeong

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Connective tissue reattachment to periodontally damaged root surfaces is one of the most important goals of periodontal therapy. The aim of this study was to develop a root conditioning agent that can demineralize and detoxify the infected root surface. Methods Dentin slices obtained from human teeth were treated with a novel root planing agent for 2 minutes and then washed with phosphate-buffered saline. Smear layer removal and type I collagen exposure were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and type I collagen immunostaining, respectively. Cell attachment and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) removal demonstrated the efficiency of the root conditioning agent. Results SEM revealed that the smear layer was entirely removed and the dentinal tubules were opened by the experimental gel. Type I collagen was exposed on the surfaces of the dentin slices treated by the experimental gel, which were compared with dentin treated with other root planing agents. Dentin slices treated with the experimental gel showed the highest number of attached fibroblasts and flattened cell morphology. The agar diffusion assay demonstrated that the experimental gel also has effective antimicrobial activity. Escherichia coli LPS were effectively removed from well plates by the experimental gel. Conclusions These results demonstrated that this experimental gel is a useful tool for root conditioning of infected root surfaces and can also be applied for detoxification of ailing implant surface threads. PMID:21246015

  8. Studying the effects of nucleating agents on texture modification of puffed corn-fish snack.

    PubMed

    Shahmohammadi, Hamid Reza; Bakar, Jamilah; Rahman, Russly Abdul; Adzhan, Noranizan Mohd

    2014-02-01

    To improve textural attributes of puffed corn-fish snack, the effects of 1%, 1.5%, and 2% of calcium carbonate, magnesium silicate (talc), sodium bicarbonate as well as 5% and 10% of wheat bran (as the nucleating materials) on textural attributes were studied. Sensory evaluation, bulk density, expansion ratio, maximum force, and count peaks were measured using the Kramer test. The results showed that all of the additives except bran significantly enhanced the texture. Among them, talc at 0.5% was the best to enhance the density and expansion ratio. Effects of using 0.5% talc on puffed corn-fish snack microstructure were studied using scanning electron microscopy. The average cell diameter of 109 ± 48 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 67.4 for talc-treated products were obtained, while for nontalc-treated extrudates, average cell diameter of 798 ± 361 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 13.9 were found. Incorporation of 0.5% w/w of magnesium silicate reduced (7-fold) the average cell diameter while increased (4-fold) the cell number. PMID:24410375

  9. Shock-induced modification of a coal-derived pyrite. [Effects on liquefaction conversions

    SciTech Connect

    Morosin, B.; Stohl, F.V.; Graham, R.A.; Richards, P.; Granoff, B.; Williamson, D.L.

    1983-09-01

    Objectives were to characterize the effects of high-pressure shock-wave loadings on a coal-derived pyrite and to determine the effect of the increased defect concentration of the pyrite on coal liquefaction. The materials used were Robena pyrite with about 30 wt. % of phases other than FeS/sub 2/ and a sample of cleaned Robena pyrite which only contained pyrite and marcasite. The defect concentration in these materials was altered by the use of high-pressure shock-wave loadings with peak pressures of 10 to 15 GPa and peak temperatures of 600 to 900/sup 0/K. Both shocked materials showed broadened high 2THETA lines in the pyrite x-ray pattern which were caused by strain-induced lattice defects. The shocked uncleaned pyrite showed the presence of two additional phases, Fe/sub 3/C and pyrrhotite. The shocked cleaned pyrite showed the possible formation of smythite (Fe/sub 9/S/sub 11/) and pyrrhotite. Catalytic activity tests of the shocked cleaned pyrite were carried out in tubing reactors with West Virginia Blacksville No. 2 coal and SRC-II heavy distillate at 425/sup 0/C. The toluene and THF conversions from the runs with the shocked cleaned pyrite were similar to those obtained from the unshocked cleaned pyrite. This suggests that pyrite may not be the active phase which yields improvements in coal liquefaction or that the defects in pyrite are lost under coal-liquefaction conditions.

  10. The effect of chemistry modifications on the solidification behavior and weldability of Alloy 625

    SciTech Connect

    Cieslak, M.J.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of chemistry variations on the solidification behavior and weldability of Alloy 625. As the effect of several tramp elements (i.e., S, P, etc.) could be predicted a priori, the experimental alloy design excluded these elements as factors. A 3-factor, 2-level, full fractorial experimental design was examined with the elements Nb(0 wt%, 3.5 wt%), C(0.005 wt.%, 0.035 wt.%), and Si(0.01 wt.%, 0.40 wt.%) being chosen to fill the design matrix. Compositions of the alloys studied are listed. These compositions were prepared using VIM/VAR techniques in the Sandia National Laboratories Melting and Solidification Facility. Conventional hot and cold working techniques were used to produce 3 mm thick sheet for Varestraint weldability testing. Differential thermal analysis (DTA) was used to establish significant solidification temperatures and reactions. Greater experimental detail has been given previously. 2 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Modification Of Gear Teeth To Reduce Vibrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Dennis P.; Oswald, Fred B.; Lin, Hsiang Hsi

    1990-01-01

    Computer simulations yield data useful in designing for low noise. Effects of modifications in shape of gear teeth upon static transmission error and dynamic loading of gears now analyzed systematically. Design curves generated by conducting numerical simulations of dynamic effects at successive incremental modifications of gear systems operated at various applied loads. Modifications that result in minimum dynamic effect determined from design curves.

  12. Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Rats: Comparison of Two Endovascular Perforation Techniques with Respect to Success Rate, Confounding Pathologies and Early Hippocampal Tissue Lesion Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Höllig, Anke; Weinandy, Agnieszka; Nolte, Kay; Clusmann, Hans; Rossaint, Rolf; Coburn, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Recently aside from the “classic” endovascular monofilament perforation technique to induce experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) a modification using a tungsten wire advanced through a guide tube has been described. We aim to assess both techniques for their success rate (induction of SAH without confounding pathologies) as primary endpoint. Further, the early tissue lesion pattern as evidence for early brain injury will be analyzed as secondary endpoint. Sprague Dawley rats (n=39) were randomly assigned to receive either Sham surgery (n=4), SAH using the “classic” technique (n=18) or using a modified technique (n=17). Course of intracranial pressure (ICP) and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was analyzed; subsequent pathologies were documented either 6 or 24 h after SAH. Hippocampal tissue samples were analyzed via immunohistochemistry and western blotting. SAH-induction, regardless of confounding pathologies, was independent from type of technique (p=0.679). There was no significant difference concerning case fatality rate (classic: 40%; modified: 20%; p=0.213). Successful induction of SAH without collateral ICH or SDH was possible in 40% with the classic and in 86.7% with the modified technique (p=0.008). Peak ICP levels differed significantly between the two groups (classic: 94 +/- 23 mmHg; modified: 68 +/- 19 mmHg; p=0.003). Evidence of early cellular stress response and activation of apoptotic pathways 6 h after SAH was demonstrated. The extent of stress response is not dependent on type of technique. Both tested techniques successfully produce SAH including activation of an early stress response and apoptotic pathways in the hippocampal tissue. However, the induction of SAH with less confounding pathologies was more frequently achieved with the modified tungsten wire technique. PMID:25867893

  13. Effect of surface modification on magnetization of iron oxide nanoparticle colloids.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yuan; Rende, Deniz; Altan, Cem Levent; Bucak, Seyda; Ozisik, Rahmi; Borca-Tasciuc, Diana-Andra

    2012-09-11

    Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have numerous applications in the biomedical field, some more mature, such as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and some emerging, such as heating agents in hyperthermia for cancer therapy. In all of these applications, the magnetic particles are coated with surfactants and polymers to enhance biocompatibility, prevent agglomeration, and add functionality. However, the coatings may interact with the surface atoms of the magnetic core and form a magnetically disordered layer, reducing the total amount of the magnetic phase, which is the key parameter in many applications. In the current study, amine and carboxyl functionalized and bare iron oxide nanoparticles, all suspended in water, were purchased and characterized. The presence of the coatings in commercial samples was verified with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The class of iron oxide (magnetite) was verified via Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. In addition to these, in-house prepared iron oxide nanoparticles coated with oleic acid and suspended in heptane and hexane were also investigated. The saturation magnetization obtained from vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) measurements was used to determine the effective concentration of magnetic phase in all samples. The Tiron chelation test was then utilized to check the real concentration of the iron oxide in the suspension. The difference between the concentration results from VSM and the Tiron test confirmed the reduction of magnetic phase of magnetic core in the presence of coatings and different suspension media. For the biocompatible coatings, the largest reduction was experienced by amine particles, where the ratio of the effective weight of magnetic phase reported to the real weight was 0.5. Carboxyl-coated samples experienced smaller reduction with a ratio of 0.64. Uncoated sample also exhibits a reduction with a ratio of 0.6. Oleic acid covered samples show a solvent

  14. Histopathological baseline levels and confounding factors in common sole (Solea solea) for marine environmental risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, N; Zorita, I; Costa, P M; Larreta, J; Franco, J

    2015-09-01

    Liver and gonad histopathology, biometric parameters and hepatic metal bioaccumulation were assessed monthly over a one-year period in common soles from the Basque continental shelf, in order to determine baseline levels and confounding factors within biomonitoring studies. Biometric parameters and hepatic metal bioaccumulation varied according to season and gender. Accordingly, hepatic histopathological traits presented seasonal variations related to the reproductive cycle. However, the hepatic histopathological index showed that seasonality and gender were not significant confounding factors. Conversely, the gonad histopathological index was modulated by season and gender. As for organ comparison, the liver endured more severe histopathological damage than the gonad. In brief, the sampling period and gender may not affect the estimation of hepatic histopathological indices for biomonitoring purposes. Nonetheless, due to different sensitivities to environmental 'noise' variables, the sampling period and gender differentiation should be thoroughly considered for the assessment of gonad histopathology, biometrics and metal bioaccumulation. PMID:26364682

  15. Effect of cryogenic burnishing on surface integrity modifications of Co-Cr-Mo biomedical alloy.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shu; Dillon, Oscar W; Puleo, David A; Jawahir, Ibrahim S

    2013-01-01

    Severe plastic deformation (SPD) processes have been used to modify the surface integrity properties of many materials by generating ultrafine or even nanometer-sized grains in the surface and subsurface region. These fine grained materials created by SPD and dynamic recrystallization in a thin layer near the surface usually have higher hardness and frequently exhibit enhanced mechanical properties (wear resistance, corrosion resistance, fatigue life, etc.). Cryogenic burnishing, a SPD process, was used to improve several surface integrity parameters of a Co-Cr-Mo biomedical alloy. Application of liquid nitrogen during the burnishing process significantly suppressed the temperature rise within and outside the nitrogen application zone. Better surface finish, high hardness value, thick burnishing-influenced surface layer, and significant grain refinement were simultaneously achieved with the application of cryogenic cooling. Current results show that cryogenic burnishing can be an effective processing method for modifying the studied surface integrity properties of Co-Cr-Mo biomedical alloy. PMID:23090709

  16. Effect of mechanical activation on structure changes and reactivity in further chemical modification of lignin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaohong; Zhang, Yanjuan; Hu, Huayu; Huang, Zuqiang; Yang, Mei; Chen, Dong; Huang, Kai; Huang, Aimin; Qin, Xingzhen; Feng, Zhenfei

    2016-10-01

    Lignin was treated by mechanical activation (MA) in a customized stirring ball mill, and the structure and reactivity in further esterification were studied. The chemical structure and morphology of MA-treated lignin and the esterified products were analyzed by chemical analysis combined with UV/vis spectrometer, FTIR,NMR, SEM and particle size analyzer. The results showed that MA contributed to the increase of aliphatic hydroxyl, phenolic hydroxyl, carbonyl and carboxyl groups but the decrease of methoxyl groups. Moreover, MA led to the decrease of particle size and the increase of specific surface area and roughness of surface in lignin. The reactivity of lignin was enhanced significantly for the increase of hydroxyl content and the improvement of mass transfer in chemical reaction caused by the changes of molecular structure and morphological structure. The process of MA is green and simple, and is an effective method for enhancing the reactivity of lignin. PMID:27344951

  17. Effect of surface modification on the photocatalysis of Ti-Ni alloy in orthodontics.

    PubMed

    Horiuchi, Yosuke; Horiuchi, Mariko; Hanawa, Takao; Soma, Kunimichi

    2007-11-01

    Photocatalytic activity from the reaction of titanium oxide with ultraviolet light has recently gained much attention. In particular, there is scientific interest in inducing photocatalytic reactions on Ti-Ni alloy, a material widely used in orthodontic applications. However, it is believed that inducing a photocatalytic reaction with an amorphous oxide film on the alloy is a difficult challenge. In this study, therefore, we sought to induce a photocatalytic reaction on Ti-Ni alloy by subjecting the latter to electrolytic and heat treatments. Then, an antibacterial test was used to examine whether a photocatalytic reaction had indeed been induced. By thickening the titanium oxide film with electrolytic treatment and then applying heat treatment, the surface oxide film of Ti-Ni alloy was thus modified from amorphous structure to rutile crystal. Furthermore, it was revealed that Ti-Ni alloy had an antibacterial effect by virtue of the photocatalytic reaction. PMID:18203500

  18. Effect of sol-gel modifications on formation and morphology of nanocrystalline lanthanum aluminate

    SciTech Connect

    Koc, S. Naci . E-mail: nacik@istanbul.edu.tr; Oksuzomer, Faruk; Yasar, Erdem; Akturk, Selcuk; Gurkaynak, M. Ali

    2006-12-14

    LaAlO{sub 3} powders are prepared by sol-gel method. The effect of preparation conditions on morphological properties and crystal formations are investigated. iso-Propanol/tert-butanol and ethyl acetoacetate/ethylene glycol monomethylether are used solvents and complexing agents, respectively. Samples are dried with conventional and freeze-drying methods and calcined between 600 and 1000 deg. C. TGA, DTA, XRD, SEM and TEM methods are used for characterization. It is observed that freeze-dried sample prepared with tert-butanol has the lowest LaAlO{sub 3} formation temperature and uniform rhombohedral crystals. But conventionally dried sample, prepared with iso-propanol has smallest agglomerates at 1000 deg. C and does not show clear crystallization temperature in DTA analysis. The XRD peaks of LaAlO{sub 3} crystal are observed at 600 deg. C for all samples prepared by various sol-gel conditions.

  19. The Effects of Fiber Surface Modification and Thermal Aging on Composite Toughness and Its Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowles, Kenneth J.; Madhukar, Madhu; Papadopolous, Demetrios S.; Inghram, Linda; Mccorkle, Linda

    1995-01-01

    A detailed experimental study was conducted to establish the structure-property relationships between elevated temperature aging and fiber-matrix bonding, Mode 2 interlaminar fracture toughness, and failure modes of carbon fiber/PMR-15 composites. The fiber-matrix adhesion was varied by using carbon fibers with different surface treatments. Short beam shear tests were used to quantify the interfacial shear strength afforded by the use of the different fiber surface treatments. The results of the short beam shear tests showed that, for times up to 1000 hr, the aging process caused no changes in the bulk of the three composite materials that would degrade the shear properties of the material. Comparisons between the interlaminar shear strengths (ILSS) measured by the short beam shear tests and the GIIC test results, as measured by the ENF test, indicated that the differences in the surface treatments significantly affected the fracture properties while the effect of the aging process was probably limited to changes at the starter crack tip. The fracture properties changed due to a shift in the fracture from an interfacial failure to a failure within the matrix when the fiber was changed from AU-4 to AS-4 or AS-4G. There appears to be an effect of the fiber/matrix bonding on the thermo-oxidative stability of the composites that were tested. The low bonding afforded by the AU 1 fiber resulted in weight losses about twice those experienced by the AS 1 reinforced composites, the ones with the best TOS.

  20. The Effects of Fiber Surface Modification and Thermal Aging on Composite Toughness And its Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowles, Kenneth J.; Madhukar, Madhu; Papadopoulos, Demetrios; Inghram, Linda; McCorkle, Linda

    1997-01-01

    A detailed experimental study was conducted to establish the structure-property relationships between elevated temperature aging and (I) fiber-matrix bonding, (2) Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness, and (3) failure modes of carbon fiber/PMR-15 composites. The fiber-matrix adhesion was varied by using carbon fibers with different surface treatments. Short beam shear tests were used to quantify the interfacial shear strength afforded by the use of the different fiber surface treatments. The results of the short beam shear tests definitely showed that, for aging times up to 1000 hr, the aging process caused no observable changes in the bulk of the three composite materials that---would degrade the shear properties of the material. Comparisons between the interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) measured by the short beam shear tests and the GII c test results, as measured by the ENF test, indicated that the differences in the surface treatments significantly affected the fracture properties while the effect of the aging process was probably limited to changes at the starter crack tip. The fracture properties changed due to a shift in the fracture from an interfacial failure to a failure within the matrix when the fiber was changed from AU-4 to AS-4 or AS-4G. There appears to be an effect of the fiber/matrix bonding on the thermo-oxidative stability of the composites that were tested. The low bonding afforded by the AU-4 fiber resulted in weight losses about twice those experienced by the AS-4 reinforced composites, the ones with the best TOS.

  1. In vivo measurement of 241Am in the lungs confounded by activity deposited in other organs.

    PubMed

    Lobaugh, Megan L; Spitz, Henry B; Glover, Samuel E

    2015-01-01

    Radioactive material deposited in multiple organs of the body is likely to confound a result of an in vivo measurement performed over the lungs, the most frequently monitored organ for occupational exposure. The significance of this interference was evaluated by measuring anthropometric torso phantoms containing lungs, liver, skeleton, and axillary lymph nodes, each with a precisely known quantity of 241Am uniformly distributed in the organs. Arrays of multiple high-resolution germanium detectors were positioned over organs within the torso phantom containing 241Am or over proximal organs without activity to determine the degree of measurement confounding due to photons emitted from other source organs. A set of four mathematical response functions describes the measured count rate with detectors positioned over each of the relevant organs and 241Am contained in the measured organ or one of the other organs selected as a confounder. Simultaneous solution of these equations by matrix algebra, where the diagonal terms of the matrix are calibration factors for a direct measurement of activity in an organ and the off-diagonal terms reflect the contribution (i.e., interference or cross-talk) produced by 241Am in a confounding organ, yields the activity deposited in each of the relevant organs. The matrix solution described in this paper represents a method for adjusting a result of 241Am measured directly in one organ for interferences that may arise from 241Am deposited elsewhere and represents a technically valid procedure to aid in evaluating internal dose based upon in vivo measurements for those radioactive materials known to deposit in multiple organs. PMID:25437522

  2. Attentional bias modification in smokers trying to quit: a longitudinal study about the effects of number of sessions.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Fernanda Machado; Pires, Augusto Viana; Bizarro, Lisiane

    2014-07-01

    Attentional bias modification (ABM) to avoid smoking-related cues is a potentially new intervention in addition to existing therapy to stop smoking. We examined immediate and long-term changes in attentional bias and treatment outcomes from multiple ABM sessions in 67 smokers trying to quit. After assessing attentional bias baseline, participants were randomly allocated to one of three training groups: three sessions of ABM (avoid 3); two sessions of placebo-ABM and one session of ABM (avoid 1); and three sessions of placebo-ABM (avoid 0). At baseline, all groups had similar positive attentional bias, which became negative at 24h post-training. After 1 month, avoid 1 and avoid 3 still exhibited negative attentional biases. Only avoid 3 maintained this effect at 6-month, but not at 12-month assessments. ABM produced a long-lasting automatic and maintained avoidance to smoking-related cues which depended on number of sessions; however its effects on treatment outcomes are uncertain. PMID:24666812

  3. Effects of Climate-Induced Hydrologic Modifications on Biogeochemical Cycling of Trace Metals in Alluvial and Coastal Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, M.; Natter, M. G.; Keevan, J. P.; Guerra, K.; Saunders, J.; Uddin, A.; Humayun, M.; Wang, Y.; Keimowitz, A. R.

    2013-12-01

    Assessing the impacts of climate changes on water quality requires an understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals. Evidence from research on alluvial aquifers and coastal watersheds shows direct impacts of climate change on the fate and transformation of trace metals in natural environments. This study employs field data and numerical modeling techniques to test assumptions about the effects of climate change on natural arsenic contamination of groundwater in alluvial aquifers and mercury bioaccumulation in coastal saltmarshes. The results show that the rises of sea level and river base during the warm Holocene period has led to an overall increase in groundwater arsenic concentration due to the development of reducing geochemical conditions and sluggish groundwater movement. Modeling results indicate that the intrusion of seawater occurring during high sea-level stand may lead to desorption of arsenic from the surfaces of hydrous oxides due to pH effects and ionic competition for mineral sorbing sites. Our results also show that contamination and bioaccumulation of Hg and other metals in estuarine and coastal ecosystems may be influenced by climate-induced hydrologic modifications (atmospheric deposition, riverine input, salinity level, etc.). An integrated research framework consisting of numerical modeling, long-term monitoring, laboratory experiments will be necessary for building a comprehensive understanding of the complex response of biogeochemical cycling of trace metals to climate change.

  4. Processing fragile matter: effect of polymer graft modification on the mechanical properties and processibility of (nano-) particulate solids.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Michael; Choi, Jihoon; Hui, Chin Min; Chen, Beibei; Korkmaz, Emrullah; Yan, Jiajun; Margel, Shlomo; Ozdoganlar, O Burak; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Bockstaller, Michael R

    2016-04-21

    The effect of polymer modification on the deformation characteristics and processibility of particle assembly structures is analyzed as a function of particle size and degree of polymerization of surface-tethered chains. A pronounced increase of the fracture toughness (by approximately one order of magnitude) is observed as the degree of polymerization exceeds a threshold value that increases with particle size. The threshold value is interpreted as being related to the transition of tethered chains from stretched-to-relaxed conformation (and the associated entanglement of tethered chains) and agrees with predictions from scaling theory. The increase in toughness is reduced with increasing particle size - this effect is rationalized as a consequence of the decrease of entanglement density with increasing dimension of interstitial (void) space in particle array structures. The increased fracture toughness of particle brush materials (with sufficient degree of polymerization of tethered chains) enables the fabrication of ordered colloidal films and even complex 3D shapes by scalable polymer processing techniques, such as spin coating and micromolding. The results, therefore, suggest new opportunities for the processing of colloidal material systems that could find application in the economical fabrication of functional components or systems compromised of colloidal materials. PMID:26979521

  5. Effect of clay modification on the morphological, mechanical, and thermal properties of epoxy/polypropylene/montmorillonite shape memory materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Huifeng; Sun, He; Liu, Yuyan; Tong, Linbao; Du, Xingwen

    2012-04-01

    A series of montmorillonite (DK2) modified shape memory polyurethane-epoxy (UEP) composites had been prepared. The effect of DK2 modification on the morphological, mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy/polypropylene/Montmorillonite nano-composites were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), tensile test, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The shape memory performance was investigated by fold-deploy shape memory tests. The XRD and TEM results indicated the formation of exfoliated structure for epoxy/polypropylene nano-composites had been prepared using 2~ 3wt.% DK2. On the other hand, a mixture of intercalated and exfoliated structure was found in 4~5wt.% DK2/ epoxy/polypropylene polymers. Further more, the toughness, tensile strength, enlongation at break had been improved by adding DK2, while glass transition temperature, storage modulus and shape recovery ratio was unaffected. The composite materials possessed excellent shape memory properties, they could fully recover their original shapes within 3 min under the maximum bending angle of 180°, and there were little effect by fold-deploy ten times.

  6. Effect of clay modification on the morphological, mechanical, and thermal properties of epoxy/polypropylene/montmorillonite shape memory materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Huifeng; Sun, He; Liu, Yuyan; Tong, Linbao; Du, Xingwen

    2011-11-01

    A series of montmorillonite (DK2) modified shape memory polyurethane-epoxy (UEP) composites had been prepared. The effect of DK2 modification on the morphological, mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy/polypropylene/Montmorillonite nano-composites were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), tensile test, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The shape memory performance was investigated by fold-deploy shape memory tests. The XRD and TEM results indicated the formation of exfoliated structure for epoxy/polypropylene nano-composites had been prepared using 2~ 3wt.% DK2. On the other hand, a mixture of intercalated and exfoliated structure was found in 4~5wt.% DK2/ epoxy/polypropylene polymers. Further more, the toughness, tensile strength, enlongation at break had been improved by adding DK2, while glass transition temperature, storage modulus and shape recovery ratio was unaffected. The composite materials possessed excellent shape memory properties, they could fully recover their original shapes within 3 min under the maximum bending angle of 180°, and there were little effect by fold-deploy ten times.

  7. Effect of pH on compressive strength of some modification of mineral trioxide aggregate

    PubMed Central

    Saghiri, Mohammad A.; Garcia-Godoy, Franklin; Asatourian, Armen; Lotfi, Mehrdad; Khezri-Boukani, Kaveh

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Recently, it was shown that NanoMTA improved the setting time and promoted a better hydration process which prevents washout and the dislodgment of this novel biomaterial in comparison with WTMA. This study analyzed the compressive strength of ProRoot WMTA (Dentsply), a NanoWMTA (Kamal Asgar Research Center), and Bioaggregate (Innovative Bioceramix) after its exposure to a range of environmental pH conditions during hydration. Study Design: After mixing the cements under aseptic condition and based on the manufacturers` recommendations, the cements were condensed with moderate force using plugger into 9 × 6 mm split molds. Each type of cement was then randomly divided into three groups (n=10). Specimens were exposed to environments with pH values of 4.4, 7.4, or 10.4 for 3 days. Cement pellets were compressed by using an Instron testing machine. Values were recorded and compared. Data were analyzed by using one-way analysis of variance and a post hoc Tukey’s test. Results: After 3 days, the samples were solid when probed with an explorer before removing them from the molds. The greatest mean compressive strength 133.19±11.14 MPa was observed after exposure to a pH value of 10.4 for NanoWMTA. The values decreased to 111.41±8.26 MPa after exposure to a pH value of 4.4. Increasing of pH had a significant effect on the compressive strength of the groups (p<0.001). The mean compressive strength for the NanoWMTA was statistically higher than for ProRoot WMTA and Bioaggregate (p<0.001). Moreover, increasing of pH values had a significant effect on compressive strength of the experimental groups (p<0.001). Conclusion: The compressive strength of NanoWMTA was significantly higher than WMTA and Bioaggregate; the more acidic the environmental pH, the lower was the compressive strength. Key words:Compressive strength, mineral trioxide aggregate, Nano. PMID:23722137

  8. Oxidative modification enhances the immunostimulatory effects of extracellular mitochondrial DNA on plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Pazmandi, Kitti; Agod, Zsofia; Kumar, Brahma V; Szabo, Attila; Fekete, Tunde; Sogor, Viktoria; Veres, Agota; Boldogh, Istvan; Rajnavolgyi, Eva; Lanyi, Arpad; Bacsi, Attila

    2014-12-01

    Inflammation is associated with oxidative stress and characterized by elevated levels of damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules released from injured or even living cells into the surrounding microenvironment. One of these endogenous danger signals is the extracellular mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) containing evolutionary conserved unmethylated CpG repeats. Increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by recruited inflammatory cells modify mtDNA oxidatively, resulting primarily in accumulation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG) lesions. In this study, we examined the impact of native and oxidatively modified mtDNAs on the phenotypic and functional properties of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which possess a fundamental role in the regulation of inflammation and T cell immunity. Treatment of human primary pDCs with native mtDNA up-regulated the expression of a costimulatory molecule (CD86), a specific maturation marker (CD83), and a main antigen-presenting molecule (HLA-DQ) on the cell surface, as well as increased TNF-α and IL-8 production from the cells. These effects were more apparent when pDCs were exposed to oxidatively modified mtDNA. Neither native nor oxidized mtDNA molecules were able to induce interferon (IFN)-α secretion from pDCs unless they formed a complex with human cathelicidin LL-37, an antimicrobial peptide. Interestingly, simultaneous administration of a Toll-like receptor (TLR)9 antagonist abrogated the effects of both native and oxidized mtDNAs on human pDCs. In a murine model, oxidized mtDNA also proved a more potent activator of pDCs compared to the native form, except for induction of IFN-α production. Collectively, we demonstrate here for the first time that elevated levels of 8-oxoG bases in the extracellular mtDNA induced by oxidative stress increase the immunostimulatory capacity of mtDNA on pDCs. PMID:25301097

  9. Modification in the diet can induce beneficial effects against breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Aragón, Felix; Perdigón, Gabriela; de Moreno de LeBlanc, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    The population tends to consume foods that in addition to their nutritional values can offer some benefits to their health. There are many epidemiological evidences and research studies in animal models suggesting that diet plays an important role in breast cancer prevention or progression. This review summarized some of the relevant researches about nutrition and cancer during the last years, especially in breast cancer. The analysis of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria in cancer prevention and/or treatment was especially discussed. It was observed that a balance of fatty acids similar to those of traditional Mediterranean diet, the consumption of fruits and vegetables, dietary fiber intake, vitamin supplementation are, along with the intake of probiotic products, the most extensively studied by the negative association to breast cancer risk. The consumption of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria was associated to reduce breast cancer risk in some epidemiological studies. The use of animal models showed the modulation of the host’s immune response as one of the important effects associated to the benefices observed with most probiotics. However; future assays in human are very important before the medical community can accept the addition of probiotic or fermented milks containing lactic acid bacteria as supplements for cancer patients. PMID:25114859

  10. Effects of preheating on diaspore: Modifications in colour centres, structure and light emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Guinea, J.; Correcher, V.; Rubio, J.; Valle-Fuentes, F. J.

    2005-07-01

    The thermal properties and thermal stability of diaspore-corundum (AlOOH Al2O3), from Goian (Pontevedra, Spain) were studied by means of differential thermal analysis (DTA), thermogravimetry (TG), high temperature X-ray diffraction (HTXRD) and thermally stimulated luminescence (TL) techniques. The samples were annealed to link the combined effect of (i) dehydroxylation, (ii) oxidation reduction of chromophores (Mn 0.5%, Fe2O3 0.12%, TiO2 0.021% and Cr 80 ppm) determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and (iii) phase transitions whilst sample heating (i.e. α-AlOOH→α‧-Al2P3→α-Al2O3). The blue colour of diaspore, attributed to the Ti4+ Fe2+ intervalence-charge-transfer mechanism, turns to white (circa 500 °C) in good agreement with the DTA endothermic peak (dehydroxylation). The coexistence of α-AlOOH and α‧-Al2P3 phases has been detected by in situ HTXRD and could be correlated to the thermoluminescence tests performed on preheated aliquots (up to 500 °C).

  11. Hydrophobic modification on surface of chitin sponges for highly effective separation of oil.

    PubMed

    Duan, Bo; Gao, Huimin; He, Meng; Zhang, Lina

    2014-11-26

    A highly hydrophobic and oleophilic chitin sponge was synthesized, for the first time, via a freeze-dried method and then by using a thermal chemical vapor deposition of methyltrichlorosilane (MTCS) at different relative humidity. Fourier-transform infrared, energy-dispersive X-ray spectra, and scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the silanization occurred on the pore wall surface of the chitin sponge. The MTCS-coated chitin sponge had interconnected open-cell structures with the average pore size from 20 to 50 μm, and the MTCS nanofilaments immobilized on the chitin matrix, leading to the high hydrophobicity, as a result of the existence of a solid/air composite rough surface. Cyclic compression test indicated that the hydrophobic chitin sponges exhibited excellent elasticity and high mechanical durability. The sponges could efficiently collect organics both on the surface and bottom from the water with the highest 58 times of their own weight absorption capacities through the combination of the particular wettability and great porosity. Furthermore, the biodegradation kinetics of the chitin sponge forecasted that the chitin could be completely biodegraded within 32 days by the microorganisms in the soil. This work provided a new pathway to prepare the chitin-based materials for highly effective removal of oil from water, showing potential application in the pollutant remediation field. PMID:25347002

  12. O the Generalized Hall Effect as a Modification of Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, Michael Lee

    The generalized Hall effect (GHE) in the generalized Hall model (GHM) is studied as a correction to ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in the context of how it affects the linear stability of cylindrically symmetric equilibria and how it changes helically symmetric equilibria. The GHM differs from what is usually called the Hall model by including the electron pressure in the electron momentum equation. This gives the GHM some aspects of a two fluid model whereas the Hall model is a one fluid model. In both cases of cyclindrical and helical symmetry the presence of the electron pressure gradient as part of the GHE gives rise to an electric field tangent to the boundary of the plasma. This introduces an additional boundary condition in the case of a perfectly conducting plasma boundary. In the case of helical symmetry the equilibrium equations are a generalization of the Grad-Schafranov equation to equilibria with flow and GHE. The classification of these partial differential equations is independent of the component of the ion fluid velocity parallel to the helical direction which may allow for transonic or supersonic flows which are governed by elliptic equations. In the case of cylindrical symmetry a class of Alfven wave solutions that do not exist in ideal MHD is obtained and the accumulation point, with respect to large radial wavenumber, of the slow magnetoacoustic wave is shown to be changed from a finite nonzero value in ideal MHD to infinity by the GHE.

  13. [Glycotoxins and cellular dysfunction. A new mechanism for understanding the preventive effects of lifestyle modifications].

    PubMed

    Michalsen, A; Bierhaus, A; Nawroth, P P; Dobos, G J

    2006-08-01

    Recently the AGE-RAGE interaction was identified as a potential mechanism underlying chronic and inflammatory diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and kidney disease. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are the derivatives of glucose-protein or glucose-lipid reactions and are mainly generated from the diet (depending on intensity of heating, cooking time and oxygenation). Binding of AGEs or other ligands to the AGE receptor (RAGE) results in cellular activation, i.e. increased expression of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress. Diet-derived AGEs thus induce deleterious effects on tissues and the cardiovascular system. Recent research also found that other lifestyle factors are associated with pronounced inflammatory activation, e.g. psychosocial stress and smoking. In addition, each intake of meals is associated with proinflammatory cellular changes. The AGE-RAGE model and investigations of the underlying cellular mechanisms thus may lead to a better understanding of the health benefits of diets (Mediterranean diet, uncooked vegetarian diets), caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. The clinical impact of low-AGE diets and fasting and the interaction between stress and food intake should be further investigated in controlled trials. PMID:16897151

  14. Effects of Heat Treatment on Microstructural Modification of As-Cast Gamma-TiAl Alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmadi, Mehdi; Hosseini, Seyed Rahman; Hadavi, Seyed Mohammad Mehdi

    2016-04-01

    Effects of normalizing and annealing treatments on the microstructure of Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb (at.%) were investigated. Normalizing processes were done at 1385 ± 5 °C in α-phase domain with the heating rate of 10 °C/min, the average cooling rate of 30 °C/min, and the holding times of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 min. The annealing process was done at the same temperature and heating rate, the holding time of 15 min, and the average cooling rate of 2 °C/min. Microstructures, phases, and hardness levels were studied by optical and field emission electron microscopic observations, x-ray diffractometry (XRD), and microhardness testing, respectively. Also, crystallographic texture variations were analyzed by means of texture coefficient and XRD results. Experimental results showed a linear direct relationship between treatment time and grain size, up to 15 min. A linear reversed behavior was observed for longer times. The untreated alloy consisted of γ and α2 phases with a columnar morphology with the length of about 300 μm. A near-lamellar microstructure with equiaxed gamma grains, Widmansttäten, and laminar γ + α2 colonies was obtained by the normalizing process. The maximum reduction of the grain size was about 70%, as achieved by normalizing with the 15 min holding time. A texture-free microstructure was acquired by normalizing treatment in comparison with strong texture of the as-cast and annealed alloys.

  15. Thermal Effects on a Low Cr Modification of PS304 Solid Lubricant Coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanford, Malcolm K.; Yanke, Anne M.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2004-01-01

    PS304 is a high temperature composite solid lubricant coating composed of Ni-Cr, Cr2O3, BaF2-CaF2 and Ag. The effect of reducing chromium content on the formation of voids in the Ni-Cr particles after heat treatment in PS304 coating was investigated. Coatings were prepared with Ni-20Cr or Ni-10Cr powder and in various combinations with the other constituents of PS304 (i.e., chromia, silver and eutectic BaF2-CaF2 powders) and deposited on metal substrates by plasma spray. Specimens were exposed to 650 C for 24 hr or 1090 C for 15 hr and then examined for changes in thickness, coating microstructure and adhesion strength. Specimens with Ni-10Cr generally had less thickness increase than specimens with Ni-20Cr, but there was great variance in the data. Reduction of chromium concentration in Ni-Cr powder tended to reduce the appearance of voids in the Ni-Cr phase after heat exposure. The presence of BaF2-CaF2 resulted in a significant increase in coating adhesion strength after heat treatment, while coatings without BaF2-CaF2 had no significant change. Chemical composition analysis suggested that the void formation was due to oxidation of chromium in the Ni-Cr constituent.

  16. Effects of Heat Treatment on Microstructural Modification of As-Cast Gamma-TiAl Alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmadi, Mehdi; Hosseini, Seyed Rahman; Hadavi, Seyed Mohammad Mehdi

    2016-06-01

    Effects of normalizing and annealing treatments on the microstructure of Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb (at.%) were investigated. Normalizing processes were done at 1385 ± 5 °C in α-phase domain with the heating rate of 10 °C/min, the average cooling rate of 30 °C/min, and the holding times of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 min. The annealing process was done at the same temperature and heating rate, the holding time of 15 min, and the average cooling rate of 2 °C/min. Microstructures, phases, and hardness levels were studied by optical and field emission electron microscopic observations, x-ray diffractometry (XRD), and microhardness testing, respectively. Also, crystallographic texture variations were analyzed by means of texture coefficient and XRD results. Experimental results showed a linear direct relationship between treatment time and grain size, up to 15 min. A linear reversed behavior was observed for longer times. The untreated alloy consisted of γ and α2 phases with a columnar morphology with the length of about 300 μm. A near-lamellar microstructure with equiaxed gamma grains, Widmansttäten, and laminar γ + α2 colonies was obtained by the normalizing process. The maximum reduction of the grain size was about 70%, as achieved by normalizing with the 15 min holding time. A texture-free microstructure was acquired by normalizing treatment in comparison with strong texture of the as-cast and annealed alloys.

  17. Effects of codon modification on human BMP2 gene expression in tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Suo, Guangli; Chen, Bing; Zhang, Jingyu; Duan, Ziyuan; He, Zhengquan; Yao, Wei; Yue, Chaoyin; Dai, Jianwu

    2006-07-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) has great potential in therapeutic applications. We are working on generating transgenic plants as a bioreactor to produce BMP2. We have studied the effects of codon optimization on the expression of human BMP2 (hBMP2) in tobacco plants. Three modified hBMP2 genes were transformed into tobacco under the control of either cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV35S) promoter or double-CaMV35S promoter plus alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV) enhancer. The fused beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene was used to facilitate the assay of protein expression. The results indicated that codon optimization could increase the protein expression level obviously under CaMV35S promoter. However, under relatively stronger initiation condition (double-CaMV35S promoter plus AMV enhancer), only the gene with the lowest degree of codon optimization could increase the protein expression level. Our findings suggest that the action of codon optimization may be influenced by the factors of promoter strength and A+T content in tobacco plants. PMID:16491379

  18. Meta-analysis of the independent and cumulative effects of multiple genetic modifications on pig lung xenograft performance during ex vivo perfusion with human blood

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Donald G.; Quinn, Kevin J.; French, Beth M.; Schwartz, Evan; Kang, Elizabeth; Dahi, Siamak; Phelps, Carol J.; Ayares, David L.; Burdorf, Lars; Azimzadeh, Agnes M.; Pierson, Richard N.

    2014-01-01

    Background Genetically modified pigs are a promising potential source of lung xenografts. Ex-vivo xenoperfusion is an effective platform for testing the effect of new modifications, but typical experiments are limited by testing of a single genetic intervention and small sample sizes. The purpose of this study was to analyze the individual and aggregate effects of donor genetic modifications on porcine lung xenograft survival and injury in an extensive pig lung xenoperfusion series. Methods Data from 157 porcine lung xenoperfusion experiments using otherwise unmodified heparinized human blood were aggregated as either continuous or dichotomous variables. Lungs were wild type in 17 perfusions (11% of the study group), while 31 lungs (20% of the study group) had 1 genetic modification, 40 lungs (39%) had 2, and 47 lungs (30%) had 3 or more modifications. The primary endpoint was functional lung survival to 4 hours of perfusion. Secondary analyses evaluated previously identified markers associated with known lung xenograft injury mechanisms. In addition to comparison among all xenografts grouped by survival status, a subgroup analysis was performed of lungs incorporating the GalTKO.hCD46 genotype. Results Each increase in the number of genetic modifications was associated with additional prolongation of lung xenograft survival. Lungs that exhibited survival to 4 hours generally had reduced platelet activation and thrombin generation. GalTKO and the expression of hCD46, HO-1, hCD55 or hEPCR were associated with improved survival. hTBM, HLA-E, and hCD39 were associated with no significant effect on the primary outcome. Conclusion This meta-analysis of an extensive lung xenotransplantation series demonstrates that increasing the number of genetic modifications targeting known xenogeneic lung injury mechanisms is associated with incremental improvements in lung survival. While more detailed mechanistic studies are needed to explore the relationship between gene expression

  19. Acetylation: A Lysine Modification with Neuroprotective Effects in Ischemic Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Alsarraf, Oday; Fan, Jie; Dahrouj, Mohammad; Chou, C. James; Menick, Donald R.; Crosson, Craig E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Neuroretinal ischemic injury contributes to several degenerative diseases in the eye and the resulting pathogenic processes involving a series of necrotic and apoptotic events. This study investigates the time and extent of changes in acetylation, and whether this influences function and survival of neuroretinal cells following injury. Methods Studies evaluated the time course of changes in histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, histone-H3 acetylation and caspase-3 activation levels as well as retinal morphology and function (electroretinography) following ischemia. In addition, the effect of two HDAC inhibitors, trichostatin-A and valproic acid were also investigated. Results In normal eyes, retinal ischemia produced a significant increase in HDAC activity within 2 hours that was followed by a corresponding significant decrease in protein acetylation by 4 hours. Activated caspase-3 levels were significantly elevated by 24 hours. Treatment with HDAC inhibitors blocked the early decrease in protein acetylation and activation of caspase-3. Retinal immunohistochemistry demonstrated that systemic administration of trichostatin-A or valproic acid, resulted in hyperacetylation of all retinal layers after systemic treatment. In addition, HDAC inhibitors provided a significant functional and structural neuroprtection at seven days following injury relative to vehicle-treated eyes. Conclusions These results provide evidence that increases in HDAC activity is an early event following retinal ischemia, and are accompanied by corresponding decreases in acetylation in advance of caspase-3 activation. In addition to preserving acetylation status, the administration of HDAC inhibitors suppressed caspase activation and provided structural and functional neuroprotection in model of ischemic retinal injury. Taken together these data provide evidence that decrease in retinal acetylation status is a central event in ischemic retinal injury, and the hyperacetylation induced by

  20. Acetylation: a lysine modification with neuroprotective effects in ischemic retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Alsarraf, Oday; Fan, Jie; Dahrouj, Mohammad; Chou, C James; Menick, Donald R; Crosson, Craig E

    2014-10-01

    Neuroretinal ischemic injury contributes to several degenerative diseases in the eye and the resulting pathogenic processes involving a series of necrotic and apoptotic events. This study investigates the time and extent of changes in acetylation, and whether this influences function and survival of neuroretinal cells following injury. Studies evaluated the time course of changes in histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, histone-H3 acetylation and caspase-3 activation levels as well as retinal morphology and function (electroretinography) following ischemia. In addition, the effect of two HDAC inhibitors, trichostatin-A and valproic acid were also investigated. In normal eyes, retinal ischemia produced a significant increase in HDAC activity within 2 h that was followed by a corresponding significant decrease in protein acetylation by 4 h. Activated caspase-3 levels were significantly elevated by 24 h. Treatment with HDAC inhibitors blocked the early decrease in protein acetylation and activation of caspase-3. Retinal immunohistochemistry demonstrated that systemic administration of trichostatin-A or valproic acid, resulted in hyperacetylation of all retinal layers after systemic treatment. In addition, HDAC inhibitors provided a significant functional and structural neuroprotection at seven days following injury relative to vehicle-treated eyes. These results provide evidence that increases in HDAC activity is an early event following retinal ischemia, and are accompanied by corresponding decreases in acetylation in advance of caspase-3 activation. In addition to preserving acetylation status, the administration of HDAC inhibitors suppressed caspase activation and provided structural and functional neuroprotection in model of ischemic retinal injury. Taken together these data provide evidence that decrease in retinal acetylation status is a central event in ischemic retinal injury, and the hyperacetylation induced by HDAC inhibition can provide acute

  1. Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Radish Sprouts: Root Growth Reduction and Modifications in the Nutritional Value

    PubMed Central

    Zuverza-Mena, Nubia; Armendariz, Raul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R.; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2016-01-01

    Reports indicate that silver nanoparticles (nAg) are toxic to vegetation, but little is known about their effects in crop plants. This study examines the impacts of nAg on the physiology and nutritional quality of radish (Raphanus sativus) sprouts. Seeds were germinated and grown for 5 days in nAg suspensions at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg/L. Seed germination and seedling growth were evaluated with traditional methodologies; the uptake of Ag and nutrients was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and changes in macromolecules were analyzed by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. None of the nAg concentrations reduced seed germination. However, the water content (% of the total weight) was reduced by 1.62, 1.65, and 2.54% with exposure to 125, 250, and 500 mg/L, respectively, compared with the control. At 500 mg/L, the root and shoot lengths were reduced by 47.7 and 40%, with respect to the control. The seedlings exposed to 500 mg/L had 901 ± 150 mg Ag/kg dry wt and significantly less Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn, compared with the control. The infrared spectroscopy analysis showed changes in the bands corresponding to lipids (3000–2800 cm-1), proteins (1550–1530 cm-1), and structural components of plant cells such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose. These results suggest that nAg could significantly affect the growth, nutrient content and macromolecule conformation in radish sprouts, with unknown consequences for human health. PMID:26909084

  2. Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Radish Sprouts: Root Growth Reduction and Modifications in the Nutritional Value.

    PubMed

    Zuverza-Mena, Nubia; Armendariz, Raul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2016-01-01

    Reports indicate that silver nanoparticles (nAg) are toxic to vegetation, but little is known about their effects in crop plants. This study examines the impacts of nAg on the physiology and nutritional quality of radish (Raphanus sativus) sprouts. Seeds were germinated and grown for 5 days in nAg suspensions at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg/L. Seed germination and seedling growth were evaluated with traditional methodologies; the uptake of Ag and nutrients was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and changes in macromolecules were analyzed by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. None of the nAg concentrations reduced seed germination. However, the water content (% of the total weight) was reduced by 1.62, 1.65, and 2.54% with exposure to 125, 250, and 500 mg/L, respectively, compared with the control. At 500 mg/L, the root and shoot lengths were reduced by 47.7 and 40%, with respect to the control. The seedlings exposed to 500 mg/L had 901 ± 150 mg Ag/kg dry wt and significantly less Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn, compared with the control. The infrared spectroscopy analysis showed changes in the bands corresponding to lipids (3000-2800 cm(-1)), proteins (1550-1530 cm(-1)), and structural components of plant cells such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose. These results suggest that nAg could significantly affect the growth, nutrient content and macromolecule conformation in radish sprouts, with unknown consequences for human health. PMID:26909084

  3. Surface modification of an epoxy resin with polyamines and polydopamine: The effect on the initial electroless copper deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaubroeck, David; Mader, Lothar; De Geyter, Nathalie; Morent, Rino; Dubruel, Peter; Vanfleteren, Jan

    2014-06-01

    This paper describes the influence of polydopamine and polyamine surface modifications of an etched epoxy cresol novolak (ECN) resin on the initial electroless copper deposition. Three different strategies to introduce polyamines on a surface in aqueous environment are applied: via polyethyleneimine adsorption (PEI), via polydopamine and via polyamines grafted to polydopamine. Next, the influence of these surface modifications on the catalytic palladium activation is investigated through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. Finally, the initial electroless copper deposition on modified epoxy surfaces is evaluated using SEM and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). Grafted polyamines on polydopamine surface modifications result in a large increase of the initial deposited copper.

  4. A Novel Method of Determining the Functional Effects of a Minor Genetic Modification of a Protein

    PubMed Central

    Nagwekar, Janhavi; Duggal, Divya; Midde, Krishna; Rich, Ryan; Liang, Jingsheng; Kazmierczak, Katarzyna; Huang, Wenrui; Fudala, Rafal; Gryczynski, Ignacy; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Szczesna-Cordary, Danuta; Borejdo, Julian

    2015-01-01

    Contraction of muscles results from the ATP-coupled cyclic interactions of the myosin cross-bridges with actin filaments. Macroscopic parameters of contraction, such as maximum tension, speed of shortening, or ATPase activity, are unlikely to reveal differences between the wild-type and mutated (MUT) proteins when the level of transgenic protein expression is low. This is because macroscopic measurements are made on whole organs containing trillions of actin and myosin molecules. An average of the information collected from such a large assembly is bound to conceal any differences imposed by a small fraction of MUT molecules. To circumvent the averaging problem, the measurements were done on isolated ventricular myofibril (MF) in which thin filaments were sparsely labeled with a fluorescent dye. We isolated a single MF from a ventricle, oriented it vertically (to be able measure the orientation), and labeled 1 in 100,000 actin monomers with a fluorescent dye. We observed the fluorescence from a small confocal volume containing approximately three actin molecules. During the contraction of a ventricle actin constantly changes orientation (i.e., the transition moment of rigidly attached fluorophore fluctuates in time) because it is repetitively being “kicked” by myosin cross-bridges. An autocorrelation functions (ACFs) of these fluctuations are remarkably sensitive to the mutation of myosin. We examined the effects of Alanine to Threonine (A13T) mutation in the myosin regulatory light chain shown by population studies to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is an appropriate example, because mutation is expressed at only 10% in the ventricles of transgenic mice. ACFs were either “Standard” (Std) (decaying monotonically in time) or “Non-standard” (NStd) (decaying irregularly). The sparse labeling of actin also allowed the measurement of the spatial distribution of actin molecules. Such distribution reflects the interaction of actin with myosin cross

  5. Study of Interfacial Interactions Using Thing Film Surface Modification: Radiation and Oxidation Effects in Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Sridharan, Kumar; Zhang, Jinsuo

    2014-01-09

    Interfaces play a key role in dictating the long-term stability of materials under the influence of radiation and high temperatures. For example, grain boundaries affect corrosion by way of providing kinetically favorable paths for elemental diffusion, but they can also act as sinks for defects and helium generated during irradiation. Likewise, the retention of high-temperature strength in nanostructured, oxide-dispersion strengthened steels depends strongly on the stoichiometric and physical stability of the (Y, Ti)-oxide particles/matrix interface under radiation and high temperatures. An understanding of these interfacial effects at a fundamental level is important for the development of materials for extreme environments of nuclear reactors. The goal of this project is to develop an understanding stability of interfaces by depositing thin films of materials on substrates followed by ion irradiation of the film-substrate system at elevated temperatures followed by post-irradiation oxidation treatments. Specifically, the research will be performed by depositing thin films of yttrium and titanium (~500 nm) on Fe-12%Cr binary alloy substrate. Y and Ti have been selected as thin-film materials because they form highly stable protective oxides layers. The Fe-12%Cr binary alloy has been selected because it is representative of ferritic steels that are widely used in nuclear systems. The absence of other alloying elements in this binary alloy would allow for a clearer examination of structures and compositions that evolve during high-temperature irradiations and oxidation treatments. The research is divided into four specific tasks: (1) sputter deposition of 500 nm thick films of Y and Ti on Fe-12%Cr alloy substrates, (2) ion irradiation of the film-substrate system with 2MeV protons to a dose of 2 dpa at temperatures of 300°C, 500°C, and 700°C, (3) oxidation of as-deposited and ion-irradiated samples in a controlled oxygen environment at 500°C and 700°C, (4

  6. 77 FR 31683 - Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to a Rule of Origin of the United States-Australia Free...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-29

    ...-Australia Free Trade Agreement AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice of effective date for goods of Australia of certain modifications to a product-specific rule of origin under the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (USAFTA). SUMMARY: In Proclamation 8334 of...

  7. The Effect of Vocal Hygiene and Behavior Modification Instruction on the Self-Reported Vocal Health Habits of Public School Music Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackworth, Rhonda S.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effects of vocal hygiene and behavior modification instruction on self-reported behaviors of music teachers. Subjects (N = 76) reported daily behaviors for eight weeks: water consumption, warm-up, talking over music/noise, vocal rest, nonverbal commands, and vocal problems. Subjects were in experimental group 1 or 2, or the…

  8. Experimental Modification of Interpretation Bias about Animal Fear in Young Children: Effects on Cognition, Avoidance Behavior, Anxiety Vulnerability, and Physiological Responding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lester, Kathryn J.; Field, Andy P.; Muris, Peter

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of experimentally modifying interpretation biases for children's cognitions, avoidance behavior, anxiety vulnerability, and physiological responding. Sixty-seven children (6-11 years) were randomly assigned to receive a positive or negative interpretation bias modification procedure to induce interpretation…

  9. WWC Review of the Report "Accommodations for English Language Learner Students: The Effect of Linguistic Modification of Math Test Item Sets"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The research described in this report is a randomized controlled trial in which seventh- and eighth-grade students were randomly assigned to complete a set of 25 math questions delivered with either standard language or language that had undergone "linguistic modification" by the research team. The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of…

  10. The Single and Combined Effects of Multiple Intensities of Behavior Modification and Methylphenidate for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Classroom Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fabiano, Gregory A.; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Gnagy, Elizabeth M.; Burrows-MacLean, Lisa; Coles, Erika K.; Chacko, Anil; Wymbs, Brian T.; Walker, Kathryn S.; Arnold, Fran; Garefino, Allison; Keenan, Jenna K.; Onyango, Adia N.; Hoffman, Martin T.; Massetti, Greta M.; Robb, Jessica A.

    2007-01-01

    Currently behavior modification, stimulant medication, and combined treatments are supported as evidence-based interventions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in classroom settings. However, there has been little study of the relative effects of these two modalities and their combination in classrooms. Using a within-subject design, the…

  11. Exploratory study of the effects of wing-leading-edge modifications on the stall/spin behavior of a light general aviation airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Configurations with full-span and segmented leading-edge flaps and full-span and segmented leading-edge droop were tested. Studies were conducted with wind-tunnel models, with an outdoor radio-controlled model, and with a full-scale airplane. Results show that wing-leading-edge modifications can produce large effects on stall/spin characteristics, particularly on spin resistance. One outboard wing-leading-edge modification tested significantly improved lateral stability at stall, spin resistance, and developed spin characteristics.

  12. Effect of life-style modification on postmenopausal overweight and obese Indian women: A randomized controlled 24 weeks preliminary study

    PubMed Central

    Tandon, Vishal R.; Sharma, Sudhaa; Mahajan, Annil; Mahajan, Shagun

    2014-01-01

    Aim: The aim of the following study is to evaluate the effect of life-style modification on postmenopausal (PM) overweight and obese Indian women in a randomized controlled 24 week study. Materials and Methods: Two groups were formed Group I (n = 30) was designated as intervention (dietary and exercise group) and Group II (n = 24) served as control. Comparison of weight, waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) were made and compared among two groups at 4, 8, 16 and 24 weeks. Results: Mean age at menopause was 48.35 years versus 49.65 years; mean number of menopausal symptoms were 5.70 ± 1.76 versus 5.10 ± 1.56 and mean duration since menopause was 2.70 versus 2.90 years in Groups I and II respectively. When the effect of Group I and control on weight was compared at 4, 8, 16 and 24 weeks, there was no significant difference between them up to 8 week. At 8 weeks Group I caused a significant decrease in weight (P ≤ 0.05) when compared with control arm and which continued throughout the study period (P < 0.05) at both 16 and 24 weeks. Group I produced a significant reduction in WC from 8 weeks onwards up to 24 weeks (P ≤ 0.05). BMI was statistically significant in Group I and the effect started at 4th week (P ≤ 0.05) and the differences in BMI reduction were highly significant at 16th and 24th weeks (P ≤ 0.001). Conclusion: The results of the present study strongly recommend the life-style management to be incorporated in daily style of postmenopausal women under controlled supervision. PMID:24672202

  13. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  14. The effects of high temperature and roof modification on physiological responses of swamp buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis) in the tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khongdee, Titaporn; Sripoon, S.; Vajrabukka, C.

    2013-05-01

    The objective of the experiments reported here was to measure the effects of cooling techniques (Modified roof vs Normal roof) on the performance and physiology of 12 young male buffaloes with a similar live weight of 160 kg. The study was conducted at Chainat Agriculture and Technology College, Chainat Province, Thailand. The animals were divided randomly into two groups, each group comprising six buffaloes, and the two groups were studied to evaluate the effects of modified roofing (normal roof fitted with woven polypropylene shade cloth) on the subjects' physiological responses to heat stress under hot humid conditions. The modified roof resulted in lowered heat stress in buffaloes compared to those under a standard roof. The difference was shown by the buffaloes having a significantly lower mean rectal temperature (39.14 ± 0.07 vs 40.00 ± 0.10°C) and plasma cortisol (2.14 ± 0.24 vs 3.38 ± 0.37 ng/ml). The average daily water consumption was significantly lower in the MR group (MR, 29.71 ± 0.86 vs NR, 34.14 ± 1.06 L head -1 day-1), while there was a tendency for the roughage intake to be higher in the MR group compared to that of the NR group (MR, 5.88 ± 0.18 vs NR, 6.44 ± 0.19 kg head-1 -1 day-1; P = 0.0508). It was concluded that roof modification facilitated a reduction in heat load from roof re-radiation, and was an effective means of alleviating thermal stress in young buffaloes.

  15. Sex-specific effects of bisphenol-A on memory and synaptic structural modification in hippocampus of adult mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Liu, Xingyi; Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Guangxia; Lu, Yingjun; Ruan, Qin; Dong, Fangni; Yang, Yanling

    2013-05-01

    Humans are routinely exposed to low levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic xenoestrogen widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. The effects of long-term exposure to BPA on memory and modification of synaptic structure in hippocampus of adult mice were investigated in the present study. The adult mice were exposed to BPA (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/kg/day) or arachis oil for 12 weeks. In open field test, BPA at 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/kg/day increased the frequency of rearing and time in the central area of the males, while BPA at 0.4 mg/kg/day reduced the frequency of rearing in the females. Exposure to BPA (0.4 or 40 mg/kg/day) extended the average escape pathlength to the hidden platform in Morris water maze task and shortened the step-down latency 24 h after footshock of the males, but no changes were found in the females for these measures. Meanwhile, BPA induced a reduced numeric synaptic density and a negative effect on the structural parameters of synaptic interface, including an enlarged synaptic cleft and the reduced length of active zone and PSD thickness, in the hippocampus of the male mice. Western blot analyses further indicated that BPA down-regulated expressions of synaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95) and synaptic NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 in the hippocampus of the males. These results suggest that long-term exposure to low levels of BPA in adulthood sex-specifically impaired spatial and passive avoidance memory of mice. These effects may be associated with the higher susceptibility of the hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, such as remodeling of spinal synapses and the expressions of synaptic proteins (e.g. synapsin I and PSD-95) and NMDA and AMPA receptors, to BPA in the adult male mice. PMID:23523742

  16. Effect of PEG modification on subtilisin Carlsberg activity, enantioselectivity, and structural dynamics in 1,4-dioxane.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Betzaida; Solá, Ricardo J; Ferrer, Amaris; Barletta, Gabriel; Griebenow, Kai

    2008-01-01

    The employment of enzymes as catalysts within organic media has traditionally been hampered by the reduced enzymatic activities when compared to catalysis in aqueous solution. Although several complementary hypotheses have provided mechanistic insights into the causes of diminished activity, further development of biocatalysts would greatly benefit from effective chemical strategies (e.g., PEGylation) to ameliorate this event. Herein we explore the effects of altering the solvent composition from aqueous buffer to 1,4-dioxane on structural, dynamical, and catalytic properties of the model enzyme subtilisin Carlsberg (SBc). Furthermore, we also investigate the effects of dissolving the enzyme in 1,4-dioxane through chemical modification with poly(ethylene)-glycol (PEG, M(W) = 20 kDa) on these enzyme properties. In 1,4-dioxane a 10(4)-fold decrease in the enzyme's catalytic activity was observed for the hydrolysis reaction of vinyl butyrate with D(2)O and a 50% decrease in enzyme structural dynamics as evidenced by reduced amide H/D exchange kinetics occurred. Attaching increasing amounts of PEG to the enzyme reversed some of the activity loss. Evaluation of the structural dynamic behavior of the PEGylated enzyme within the organic solvent revealed an increase in structural dynamics at increased PEGylation. Correlation analysis between the catalytic and structural dynamic parameters revealed that the enzyme's catalytic activity and enantioselectivity depended on the changes in protein structural dynamics within 1,4-dioxane. These results demonstrate the importance of protein structural dynamics towards regulating the catalytic behavior of enzymes within organic media. PMID:17546684

  17. Effects of low-temperature surface-wave plasma treatment with various gases on surface modification of chitosan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogino, Akihisa; Kral, Martin; Yamashita, Mitsuji; Nagatsu, Masaaki

    2008-12-01

    The effect of low-temperature surface-wave plasma treatment with various gases on surface modification of chitosan was investigated using the surface-wave plasma. Chitosan is a nontoxic, biocompatible and biodegradable polymer. It is thought that an increase in amino groups, a key constituent of chitosan molecules, will be useful for biomedical applications, such as improvement of blood clotting properties, drug delivery system, prodrug using derivatization and so on. In this study, therefore, we have focused on the amino group introduction on chitosan surface by using Ar, O 2, NH 3 and NH 3-He mixed gas plasmas. The experimental results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements showed that N/C atomic ratio increased from 6.8% to 14.7% after NH 3 plasma treatment. With O 2 plasma treatment, the surface roughness of chitosan film was significantly modified from 1.96 nm to 14.6 nm. The blood clotting time of the sample treated by NH 3 and He plasma with O 2 pretreatment was reduced to 55.2% of that of untreated one.

  18. Effects of gestational age and surface modification on materno-fetal transfer of nanoparticles in murine pregnancy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hui; Sun, Cuiji; Fan, Zhenlin; Tian, Xin; Yan, Liang; Du, Libo; Liu, Yang; Chen, Chunying; Liang, Xing-Jie; Anderson, Gregory J.; Keelan, Jeffrey A.; Zhao, Yuliang; Nie, Guangjun

    2012-11-01

    Nanoparticle exposure in pregnancy may result in placental damage and fetotoxicity; however, the factors that determine fetal nanoparticle exposure are unclear. Here we have assessed the effect of gestational age and nanoparticle composition on fetal accumulation of maternally-administered nanomaterials in mice. We determined the placental and fetal uptake of 13 nm gold nanoparticles with different surface modifications (ferritin, PEG and citrate) following intravenous administration at E5.5-15.5. We showed that prior to E11.5, all tested nanoparticles could be visualized and detected in fetal tissues in significant amounts; however, fetal gold levels declined dramatically post-E11.5. In contrast, Au-nanoparticle accumulation in the extraembryonic tissues (EET) increased 6-15 fold with gestational age. Fetal and EET accumulation of ferritin- and PEG-modified nanoparticles was considerably greater than citrate-capped nanoparticles. No signs of toxicity were observed. Fetal exposure to nanoparticles in murine pregnancy is, therefore, influenced by both stage of embryonic/placental maturation and nanoparticle surface composition.

  19. The effects of acid and alkali modification on the adsorption performance of fuller's earth for basic dye.

    PubMed

    Hisarli, G

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this work was to prepare modified adsorbents from fuller's earth (FE) by acid and alkali treatment for enhancement cationic dye adsorption. Toluidine blue (TB) was selected as adsorbate for evaluating the adsorption performance of fuller's earth samples, which was affected significantly by acid and alkali modification. The adsorption of TB was studied by visible spectra. The absorption band of the monomer at low loading of TB in FE suspension with respect to its maximum in aqueous solution is red-shifted, which is related to accessibility of dye interlamellar space in the presence of positively charged surface sites. Since all surfaces are negatively charged under experimental conditions, this effect has not been observed in acid- and alkali-treated FE suspensions. It was seen that the adsorption capacity of alkali-treated surface (FEAl) for TB was higher than these of acid-treated adsorbent (FEAc) and FE. Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fluorescence (XRF) spectra were applied to analyze the structure of the raw and modified FE samples. Absence of any identifiable amount of a crystalline compound in the solid reaction products after acid treatment was confirmed by XRD and SEM, whereas the crystalline form of FEAl was preserved. Experimental data for high-concentration regions were well described by Freundlich and Langmuir adsorption equations. The thermodynamic parameters were estimated for FE, FEAc, and FEAl by using temperature dependence of adsorption equilibrium constants. PMID:15567375

  20. Genetic modification of the effect of maternal household air pollution exposure on birth weight in Guatemalan newborns

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Lisa M.; Yousefi, Paul; Penaloza, Renee; Balmes, John; Holland, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Low birth weight is associated with exposure to air pollution during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether null polymorphisms of Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), specifically GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in infants or mothers, modifies the association between high exposures to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking fires and birth weight. Pregnant women in rural Guatemala were randomized to receive a chimney stove or continue to use open fires for cooking. Newborns were measured within 48 hours of birth. 132 mother-infant pairs provided infant genotypes (n=130) and/or maternal genotypes (n=116). Maternal null GSTM1 was associated with a 144 gram (95% CI: -291, 1) and combined maternal/infant null GSTT1 was associated with a 155 gram (95% CI -303, -8) decrease in birth weight. Although there was a trend toward higher birth weights with increasing number of expressed GST genes, the effect modification by chimney stove use was not demonstrated. PMID:25305053

  1. Effects of prolonged ingestion of epigallocatechin gallate on diabetes type 1-induced vascular modifications in the erectile tissue of rats.

    PubMed

    Lombo, C; Morgado, C; Tavares, I; Neves, D

    2016-07-01

    Diabetes Mellitus type 1 is a metabolic disease that predisposes to erectile dysfunction, partly owing to structural and molecular changes in the corpus cavernosum (CC) vessels. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of early treatment with the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cavernous diabetes-induced vascular modifications. Diabetes was induced in two groups of young Wistar rats; one group was treated with EGCG for 10 weeks. A reduction in smooth muscle content was observed in the CC of diabetic rats, which was significantly attenuated with EGCG consumption. No differences were observed among groups, neither in the expression of VEGF assayed by western blotting nor in the immunofluorescent labeling of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2). VEGFR2 was restricted to the endothelium, whereas VEGF and VEGFR1 co-localized in the smooth muscle layer. With regard to the Angiopoietin/Tie-2 system, no quantitative differences in Angiopoietin 1 were observed among the experimental groups. Ang1 localization was restricted to the smooth muscle layer, and receptor Tie2 and Angiopoietin 2 were both expressed in the endothelium. In brief, our results suggest that EGCG consumption prevented diabetes-induced loss of cavernous smooth muscle but does not affect vascular growth factor expression in young rats. PMID:27169491

  2. Effects of bacteriophage T4-induced modification of Escherichia coli RNA polymerase on gene expression in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Mailhammer, R; Yang, H L; Reiness, G; Zubay, G

    1975-01-01

    After T4 bacteriophage infection of E. coli a complex series of events take place in the bacterium, including gross inhibition of host transcription and discrete changes in the classes of the genes of T4 that are transcribed. Accompanying these changes in the pattern of transcription one finds T4-induced changes in the RNA polymerase (EC 2.7.7.6; nucleosidetriphosphate:RNA nucleotidyltransferase). The effects of modified polymerase on transcription can be advantageously analyzed in a DNA-directed cell-free system for protein synthesis. In this system gene activity is measured indirectly by the amounts and types of proteins sythesized. In the DNA-directed cell-free system this modified polymerase, like normal polymerase, transcribes T4 DNA with a high efficiency but transcribes bacteriophage lambda and host DNA very poorly. Polymerase reconstruction experiments show that modification of the alpha subunit of the RNA polymerase is sufficient for inhibition of host transcription. Host transcription is also inhibited in vitro by T4 DNA. This latter type of inhibition is presumed to involve competition between host DNA and T4 DNA for some factor essential for transcription. The T4-modified polymerase transcribes from T4 DNA many of the same genes as normal unmodified polymerase; it also shows a capability for transcribing certain "non-early" T4 genes which is enhanced in the presence of protein-containing extracts from T4-infected cells. PMID:1108008

  3. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water-Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    SciTech Connect

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-29

    Here, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid film of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. In conclusion, TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5wt%.

  4. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water-Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-29

    Here, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid filmmore » of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. In conclusion, TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5wt%.« less

  5. The effect of chemical modification on the physico-chemical characteristics of halloysite: FTIR, XRF, and XRD studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szczepanik, Beata; Słomkiewicz, Piotr; Garnuszek, Magdalena; Czech, Kamil; Banaś, Dariusz; Kubala-Kukuś, Aldona; Stabrawa, Ilona

    2015-03-01

    The effect of chemical modification of halloysite from a Polish strip mine "Dunino" on the chemical composition and structure of this clay mineral was studied using infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR), wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) methods. The results obtained by the WDXRF technique confirm that the content of silica and alumina was the highest for bleached halloysite samples and the lowest for acid-treated halloysite. A higher content of Fe2O3 in comparison to halloysite samples coming from other countries was observed for raw halloysite samples. XRPD diffraction pattern obtained for raw halloysite confirmed the presence of halloysite, kaolinite, hematite, and calcite minerals in the sample. Bleaching the halloysite removes (or significantly reduces) the content of other minerals present in the raw halloysite. The FT-IR spectra of the studied halloysite samples show in the 3700-3600 cm-1 region well-defined hydroxyl stretching bands characteristic for the kaolin-group minerals and bands associated with the vibrations of the aluminium-silicon skeleton in the 1400-1000 cm-1 region. Modifying halloysite with 4-chloro-aniline causes successive incorporation of amine into the BH sample.

  6. Sequence-engineered mRNA Without Chemical Nucleoside Modifications Enables an Effective Protein Therapy in Large Animals

    PubMed Central

    Thess, Andreas; Grund, Stefanie; Mui, Barbara L; Hope, Michael J; Baumhof, Patrick; Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola; Schlake, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Being a transient carrier of genetic information, mRNA could be a versatile, flexible, and safe means for protein therapies. While recent findings highlight the enormous therapeutic potential of mRNA, evidence that mRNA-based protein therapies are feasible beyond small animals such as mice is still lacking. Previous studies imply that mRNA therapeutics require chemical nucleoside modifications to obtain sufficient protein expression and avoid activation of the innate immune system. Here we show that chemically unmodified mRNA can achieve those goals as well by applying sequence-engineered molecules. Using erythropoietin (EPO) driven production of red blood cells as the biological model, engineered Epo mRNA elicited meaningful physiological responses from mice to nonhuman primates. Even in pigs of about 20 kg in weight, a single adequate dose of engineered mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) induced high systemic Epo levels and strong physiological effects. Our results demonstrate that sequence-engineered mRNA has the potential to revolutionize human protein therapies. PMID:26050989

  7. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water–Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    PubMed Central

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid film of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240 h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5 wt %. PMID:26413174

  8. The usability and preliminary effectiveness of ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification technique on surface properties of silicon carbide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amanov, Auezhan; Pyun, Young-Sik; Kim, Jun-Hyong; Sasaki, Shinya

    2014-08-01

    This study reports the change in microstructural, mechanical and tribological characteristics of sintered silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic subjected to ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification (UNSM) technique. The surface microstructure of the untreated and UNSM-treated specimens was examined by SEM, EDS and XRD. The mechanical properties of the specimens were measured by nanoindentation. The tribological properties of the specimens were assessed using a ball-on-disk tribometer against a bearing steel (SAE52100) ball at two different temperatures under dry reciprocating conditions. It was confirmed by SEM that the UNSM-treated specimens had much denser microstructure than those of the untreated specimens. The EDS results revealed that the UNSM technique has no effect on the chemical composition of sintered SiC ceramic. The average surface roughness obtained by AFM was found to be about 83.6 nm and 60.1 nm for the untreated and UNSM-treated specimens, respectively. The tribological results showed that the UNSM-treated specimens exhibited a lower friction coefficient and higher wear resistance compared to those of the untreated specimens. In addition, it was found that the UNSM technique was able to decrease the quantity of pores. The results of this study are expected to make sintered SiC ceramic more attractive for numerous applications in various industries.

  9. Effect of coupling agent on nano-ZnO modification and antibacterial activity of ZnO/HDPE nanocomposite films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y. N.; Xu, W. M.; Zhang, G. Q.

    2015-07-01

    Commercial zinc oxide nanoparticles were modified by silane coupling agent of KH550 and KH560, respectively. The obtained nanocomposite was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) and apparent sedimentation stability (Sapp). Then, nano-ZnO/high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composite films were prepared via melt blending and a hot compression-molding process. The antibacterial testing of the films against E. coli and S. aureus was carried out via plate counting. SEM, TGA and Sapp suggest the modifier of silane changed the surface hydrophilicity and effectively broke the agglomerations of nanoparticles. Antibacterial testing results indicated the antibacterial rate of the films increased with increasing nano-ZnO content. At a low doped content of 0.2 wt%, the types of coupling agent influenced the antibacterial property with that of KH560-modified nano-ZnO/HDPE KH550-modified nano-ZnO/HDPE unmodified nano-ZnO/HDPE films. When the dosage nano-ZnO was over 0.2 wt%, the differences of antibacterial activity resulted by modification was concealed by the strong antibacterial activity with near 100% of the nano- ZnO/HDPE composite films.

  10. Genetic modification of the effect of maternal household air pollution exposure on birth weight in Guatemalan newborns.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lisa M; Yousefi, Paul; Peñaloza, Reneé; Balmes, John; Holland, Nina

    2014-12-01

    Low birth weight is associated with exposure to air pollution during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether null polymorphisms of Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), specifically GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in infants or mothers, modify the association between high exposures to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking fires and birth weight. Pregnant women in rural Guatemala were randomized to receive a chimney stove or continue to use open fires for cooking. Newborns were measured within 48 h of birth. 132 mother-infant pairs provided infant genotypes (n=130) and/or maternal genotypes (n=116). Maternal null GSTM1 was associated with a 144 g (95% CI, -291, 1) and combined maternal/infant null GSTT1 was associated with a 155 g (95% CI, -303, -8) decrease in birth weight. Although there was a trend toward higher birth weights with increasing number of expressed GST genes, the effect modification by chimney stove use was not demonstrated. PMID:25305053

  11. The effect of ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification on the high-frequency fretting wear behavior of AISI304 steel.

    PubMed

    Cho, In-Shik; Lee, Chang-Soon; Amanov, Auezhan; Pyoun, Young-Shik; Park, In-Gyu

    2011-01-01

    The fact that one of fundamental characteristics of fretting is the very small sliding amplitude dictates the unique feature of wear mechanism. Ultrasonic Nanocrystalline Surface Modification (UNSM) technology was applied in order to investigate its effect on the high-frequency fretting wear behavior of AISI304 steel. Its influence on the fretting wear is also reported in this paper with these treated and untreated samples. UNSM delivers force onto the workpiece surface 20,000 times per second with 1,000 to 4,000 contact counts per square m